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What Happens If You Don’t Call The Police After A Car Accident?

In the chaotic after-effects of a car accident, the decision to involve the police is pivotal. What unfolds in the minutes and hours post-collision can significantly impact your legal standing, insurance claims, and financial well-being.

Exploring the impact of not calling the police after a car accident in New Jersey uncovers a rushing of challenges, from potential legal consequences to difficulty in determining fault.


In this comprehensive guide, we look into the complexity of this decision, shedding light on the importance of law enforcement involvement and the complicated web of complexities that can ensue when this key step is overlooked.

What Happens If You Don’t Call The Police After A Car Accident?

Importance of Police Involvement in Car Accidents in NJ

In New Jersey, the importance of involving the police in car accidents cannot be overstated. This is not just a suggestion, it’s often a legal requirement, and understanding why is important for all drivers.

The state law in New Jersey directive police involvement in specific scenarios. If there are injuries, fatalities, or property damage exceeding $500, it is necessary to report the accident to the police.

This legal requirement serves a dual purpose, ensuring proper documentation and facilitating a fair and efficient resolution of the incident.

Consider the significance of proper documentation. When the police are called to the scene, they create an official report that becomes a vital piece of evidence.

This report includes details about the accident, statements from involved parties, and an objective assessment of the situation. In the absence of this official record, determining fault and liability becomes subjective, leading to potential disputes and complications.

Legal Requirements of Involving Law Enforcement

  1. Mandatory Reporting: In the state of New Jersey, it is a legal requirement to involve law enforcement in a car accident if certain conditions are met.
  2. New Jersey Statute: This requirement is outlined in the New Jersey Statutes Annotated (N.J.S.A.) Title 39, Section 4-130.5, emphasizes the importance of involving law enforcement in specified situations.
  3. Insurance Implications: Failure to comply with these legal requirements may lead to penalties and can impact insurance claims adversely.
  4. Ensuring Accuracy: The involvement of law enforcement ensures an accurate and unbiased account of the incident, which is important for insurance claims and legal proceedings.
  5. Consequences of Non-Compliance: Neglecting to involve law enforcement can lead to legal consequences, including fines and potential challenges in insurance claims processing.

Consequences of Not Calling the Police After an Accident in NJ

In New Jersey, failing to call the police can lead to a series of consequences that may significantly impact your ability to process the consequences smoothly:

Missing Vital Information

One immediate consequence of not involving the police is the lack of an official report. Without this report, essential details about the accident may be overlooked or forgotten, leading to potential challenges when dealing with insurance companies or pursuing legal actions. 

In New Jersey, official documentation becomes pivotal, especially on local roads like Route 1 or around busy workplaces in cities like Newark or Jersey City.

Facing Insurance Problems

In the absence of a police report, insurance problems can arise. Insurance companies heavily rely on these reports to process claims efficiently. Without one, the claims process becomes more complex, potentially causing delays and disputes. 

This can be particularly problematic when processing insurance claims on well-traveled roads like the New Jersey Turnpike or the Garden State Parkway.

Being Liable for the Damages Caused by the Accident

Determining fault in a car accident is a complex matter, and without an official police report, it becomes subjective. This subjectivity can result in disputes, leaving you unprotected from being held liable for damages. This is a serious concern, especially when accidents occur near places of employment, like those around the Prudential Center in Newark.

Losing Compensation for Damages

The impact of not calling the police extends to the potential loss of compensation for damages. Insurance companies may dispute liability, and without an official report, it becomes challenging to prove your case. 

This could lead to financial burdens, affecting individuals on local roads in towns like Edison or Elizabeth.

Potential Challenges in Determining Fault Accidents and Liability

In New Jersey, where bustling local roads and busy workplaces are commonplace, understanding these challenges is necessary for anyone involved in a collision.

Determining fault in car accidents often involves assessing who had the right-of-way at the time of the accident. In busy local intersections like those around Princeton University, disputes over right-of-way can be common.

Without an official police report, these disputes can escalate, leading to prolonged legal clashes. 

Moreover, in the consequences of an accident, time is of the essence. Without police involvement, there’s a limited window for individuals to gather important evidence.

Skid marks on the road and other destructible details that could aid in determining fault may vanish or be altered, making it challenging to reconstruct the sequence of events accurately.

Impact on Insurance Claims and Compensation

Here are two important impacts on claiming insurance and compensation you should consider: 

  1. Subjectivity and Bias: Without an official police report, fault determination relies on the involved parties’ statements. This can lead to bias, subjectivity, and disputes, complicating the claims process.
  2. Insurance Adjuster Challenges: Insurance adjusters may face difficulties in evaluating the extent of damages and injuries without a neutral and official account of the accident. This can lead to undervalued settlements.

Benefits of Calling the Police after an Accident in NJ

  1. Objective Documentation: Police reports provide an unbiased and objective account of the accident, aiding in accurate fault determination.
  2. Legal Protection: Involving the police ensures compliance with state laws, providing legal protection and preventing potential penalties for failing to report the accident.
  3. Insurance Cooperation: Insurance companies typically cooperate more efficiently when presented with a police report, speeding up the claims process.

See also: How to File a Police Report for a Car Accident in NJ

Steps to Take When Police Aren’t Called after an Accident

Being in a car accident without police involvement can leave you in a challenging situation. it’s essential to know the right steps to take when official documentation is missing:

  1. Exchange Information: Collect and exchange contact information, insurance details, and vehicle information with the other parties involved. 
  2. Quick and comprehensive information exchange sets the groundwork for future proceedings.
  3. Take Photos: Document the scene, damages, and any relevant factors through photographs. These can serve as supplementary evidence in the absence of a police report. 
  4. Local examples, like the congested areas around the George Washington Bridge or the busy streets near Princeton University, underline the importance of detailed documentation.
  5. Seek Witnesses: If there are witnesses, obtain their contact information. Their statements can be valuable in supporting your version of events.

See also: What Type Of Witness Is Important In A Car Accident In NJ?

Get Help from a Car Accident Lawyer in New Jersey

After a car accident, seeking legal guidance from a car accident attorney becomes crucial, especially if the police are not involved. This is where expert advice can make all the difference.

Consider reaching out to professionals like Rosengard Law Group. A seasoned car accident dedicated team can handle the complexities. 

Their expertise gains insights into ensuring your rights are protected and guiding you through the complexities of New Jersey’s legal process.

FAQs

When is it mandatory or optional to call the police after a car accident?

If there are injuries, fatalities, or property damage exceeding $500. In less severe situations, involving the police is still recommended for documentation purposes.

What information should I provide or obtain when calling the police after a car accident?

Essential Information such as names, contact details, insurance information, and vehicle details of all parties involved. Any witness information and photos of the accident scene.

How long does it take for the police to arrive and complete the report after a car accident?

Response times depend on the severity of the accident and local law enforcement availability. The report may take a few days to be available.

Conclusion

In the consequences of a car accident, the decision to involve the police is pivotal. Neglecting this responsibility can lead to many challenges, affecting legal standing, insurance claims, and financial well-being.

By understanding the significance of police involvement and the potential consequences of neglecting it, individuals can make informed decisions to protect their interests and go through the complexities that follow a car accident in New Jersey. 

Remember, when in doubt, involving law enforcement is a step towards clarity and legal protection.

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