Do You Have To Call The Police After A Minor Car Accident?

If you’ve ever had a small bump whilst out driving and after it happened thought ‘what do I do now?’ then you should know that by law, every minor car accident will require you to call the police, regardless of how much of an inconvenience it may seem. 

You may want to skip the fuss and just take the other driver’s details for precaution, but then you’ll have no proof on file of the accident and it’ll be more difficult going forward if/when you want to make a claim.

The other driver involved might play sweet as pie at the scene, convincing you not to file a police report, highly aware that they were at fault, and then deny all responsibility at a later date.

If there are no injuries to yourself or the people in your vehicle and none in the other car in the collision, then still make a note of it to the police, they may be too busy to drive out to meet you at the time and may ask you to stay there until someone can get to you, or otherwise, they’ll ask you to just exchange details with the other driver involved and come to the station at a later time.

There are 7 details you’ll need to take down from the other driver(s) in the accident:

  • Name of driver(s)
  • Address
  • Telephone or mobile numbers
  • What car insurance company they’re with
  • Policy number
  • License plate number (and the state the car is registered)
  • Details of insurance representative.

In most circumstances, law enforcement being either the local police, highway control or even the county sheriff will try to get to you as soon as possible or advise you of what you should do going forward.

In some states, if you don’t notify the police of the accident within a certain timeframe you could be breaking the law and face a fine, so browse online to find the laws and regulations in your specific state before thinking about cutting corners in the future.

Why should you definitely call the police?

If you would like to file a claim against the driver in the future, then you’ll need the police to file a police report, this can be done after calling them to the scene or you can also go to the local police station.

Your insurance company will ask for a copy of the police report when you try to claim so make sure you get a copy for yourself. You should also note down the name, badge number, and agency of the officers who arrive at the scene to chase up on the police report in the future.

Some injuries don’t become evident for a few days or even weeks despite not feeling injured or hurt at the scene of the accident.

If you don’t immediately contact law enforcement and to report and file the car accident at the scene and then come to discover that you are injured some time after the accident then the other driver can claim that the accident never occurred as there is no written evidence on file, it will just be your word against someone else’s.

The police will help settle any disputes that have arisen between you and other drivers involved in the collision.

You may think you were completely in the right but others involved may see it a different way and can escalate in a bad way very quickly, especially when it comes to getting insurance companies involved.

You’ll want to say your side of the story to the officers in a diplomatic way in order for the blame not to be shifted to you.

If anyone is hurt or the road is blocked then you must call the police and the ambulance immediately. The police will need to block off the road and protect the scene to conduct their investigation.

You’ll need to contact the police if the other driver(s) have left the scene without giving you their details. Otherwise, your insurance claim would be void not knowing the name, reg plate, insurance details of the other person and you’ll be left having to pay for that dent in your car.

If you think the other driver(s) are under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs then you’ll need to call the police to notify not just an accident but also a crime.

The police will need to do witness statements, collect information on the parties involved, and then also carry out a drugs and alcohol test for the person accused to implement further charges.

If you become aware or maybe feel like the other driver has no insurance (maybe they’re reluctant to give you any details), you’ll need to get in touch with the police as the driver is breaking federal law and may try to run away to avoid further implications.

However, the state of New Hampshire is the exception in this case, as you are not legally required to have car insurance, as long as you can show financial responsibility for the vehicle.

If by chance, you think the collision was done on purpose, the police will need to come to the scene, take statements and an investigation will have to be opened.

However, an accusation like this can be very serious and without evidence, this may be hard to prove to law enforcements on the scene and in turn, difficult to hold up in court.

So to summarise, yes you should call the police after a minor car accident just to always be on the safe side and to cover your back for insurance purposes.


Thank you for visiting. This website is for informational purposes only. None of the information provided is intended to constitute, nor does it constitute, legal advice, and none of the information necessarily reflects the opinions of Misty Rock Capital LLC dba or anyone associated, employed or affiliated with Misty Rock Capital LLC dba