It is always advisable to contact or wait for the police if you are involved in a car accident. This is especially true if another party is involved or the accident has caused an injury or property damage. Here are some of the negative consequences of failing to engage the police:
Your Auto Insurer May Demand It
In some cases, it may not be up to you to decide whether to report an accident; your insurer may demand it. Most insurance companies have policies that require their clients to report all accidents as soon as possible. If you don't do this then you are not only breaking your insurance company's terms, but you are also risking any eventual claim that may stem from the accident.
This is because the insurance company needs prompt notification so that it can investigate the accident as soon as possible while the evidence is still fresh. The auto insurance company can easily claim that you are hiding something if you make a late report.
The Other Driver May Deny Your Claims
This is another reason for contacting the police and helping generate a report. If you decide to handle the accident between the two of you (you and the other driver), it is easy for the other driver to renege on their agreements later. Without a police report, you will have no way of proving your claims. For example, even if the other driver has agreed that they were driving in the wrong lane and promise to pay your damages, they can later deny this admission of liability. In fact, don't be surprised if such a driver denies that they were even involved in the accident in the first place.
Evidence for Your Personal Injury Claim
When you file a personal injury claim or lawsuit, you need to prove your claims to get your compensation. Even the insurance adjuster who will be handling your claim will be interested in the type and strength of your claim. In fact, the more proof you can show the stronger your negotiating position will be. Proof for auto accidents takes various forms such as witnesses, pictures of the accident scene, and the police report. Therefore, by not contacting the police, you are already diluting the evidence you may need if you end up filing a claim or lawsuit.
Even your auto accident attorney will be interested in the accident report that the police will generate when they come to the accident scene. After all, the police report will contain a preliminary assessment of liability that, in many cases, proves right. Therefore, don't flee the accident scene before the police arrive. For more information or advice, contact a car accident attorney.