In an Accident? Call the Police!
A few posts ago, I talked about what a motorcyclist should or should not do at the scene of the accident. One thing I pointed out was always call the police. In this post, I am going to go into more detail as to why you should call 911/the police if you are ever involved in any type of motorcycle accident, scooter accident, car accident, truck accident, pedestrian accident, bicycle accident, etc.). This goes for the accident in which you believe the other driver is responsible for the accident, and also for the accident in which you believe you are at fault.
Other Driver is Responsible for the Accident
Here is a scenario that happens all too often, an accident occurs and it is clearly the other driver’s fault. The other driver then gets out of their car and says something like this: “I know I caused the accident, no need to call the police because it is cut and dry. Let me just give you my insurance information and I am sure that my insurance company will take care of everything.” Sounds good at the time, but here are some of the things that could happen and why you need to have the police come to the scene:
(1) The other driver gives you incorrect insurance information, and now you have to go through all of the time and effort to contact this person to get the correct information.
(2) You call the other driver’s insurance company and you find out that his or her insurance was canceled before your accident.
(3) You need to get up with the other driver because their insurance information was incorrect or you have been told their insurance was cancelled, and come to find out this person gave you incorrect contact information for them.
(4) After leaving the scene of the accident, the other driver has changed their story as to what happened and is now telling their insurance company that they were not at fault in the accident.
(5) The other driver is telling their insurance company that the accident never occurred, and that the damage to their car was due to some other accident.
(6) You told the driver at the scene that you were hurt, but the driver is telling their own insurance company that you told him that you were perfectly fine and had no intention of seeking medical treatment.
Here is another common scenario. The other driver gets out of their car and indicates that the police don’t need to be called because they will just pay you directly for the damage to your car. Maybe they are even begging you not to call the police because they have a sob story about not wanting their insurance premium to go up. Resist the temptation to help that other person out because here are some of the things that could happen and why you need to have the police come to the scene:
(1) The other driver gives you incorrect contact information and you have the estimate for the damage to your car but you can no longer find them.
(2) You are given the correct contact information, but you cannot get the other driver to call you back.
(3) You send the other driver the estimate for the damage to your car, but they complain about the cost of repairs, and they refuse to pay that amount because they believe it’s too high,
(4) You send the other driver the estimate but now they say they cannot afford to pay for the damages. You then ask for their insurance information, but they refuse to give it to you or they tell you they actually have no insurance
(5) When you contact the other driver to send them an estimate, they now claim that they were never involved in an accident with you or they say the accident was not their fault
(6) You later realize that you were injured in the accident, and when you tell the other driver about this they indicate they cannot pay for your medical expenses, lost wages, etc., You then ask for their insurance information, but they refuse to give it to you or they tell you they actually have no insurance.
You are Responsible for the Accident
Even if you believe that are at fault in the accident, I think it is always a good idea to call the police and also to have your own insurance company handle the other driver’s claims. I always worry that without the police coming to the scene, another driver would try to make a claim for damages to their car which you did not cause. Also, if you tell the other driver that you will pay for their car repairs out of pocket, I am concerned that you may be made to pay for repairs that were not caused by you or that the total repair cost is higher than it should be. In other words, without having your own insurance company handle the claims of the other driver there is the possibility that you could be taken advantage of.
So, whether you are ever involved in a motorcycle accident, scooter accident, car accident, truck accident, pedestrian accident, bicycle accident, etc. it is always advisable to call 911/the police.
Gary Poole – North Carolina Motorcycle Accident Lawyer “On the Side of Those Who Ride”