Can You File a Car Accident Claim If You Didn't Call 911?
There may be many reasons you didn't call 911 after your accident. You may not have thought it was that bad, believed the other driver when they said their insurance would cover everything, or been too scared and confused to make the call. Does this mean you can't make a personal injury claim for your injuries?
What Does Calling 911 Do Legally?
Calling 911 isn't a legal magic spell. The main point of calling 911 after a car accident is to get help fast.
Depending on where you live, you do have a legal obligation to report many car accidents. This obligation can vary based on the amount of damage and whether anyone was hurt. You may need a police officer to come to the scene, the accident may be reportable online, or you may be able to simply work it out with the other driver. If you call 911, a police officer will respond to take the report.
Reporting an accident to the police is a matter of traffic law, not personal injury law. If you don't report an accident to the police when required, you don't lose the legal right to make a personal injury claim.
What Happens to Your Personal Injury Claim if You Didn't Call 911?
If you didn't call 911, it may be harder to make your personal injury claim. This is because calling 911 can start the process of documenting your accident and having a police officer come to confirm everyone's information and do an accident investigation.
In order to make a personal injury claim, you need to prove the identity of the person who caused the accident as well as how the accident happened. You also need to be able to prove that you were injured in the accident, not by something that happened after the accident.
How Can You Prove Your Personal Injury Claim if You Didn't Call 911?
There are many different types of evidence you can use if you didn't call 911 after your car accident. You might have a dashcam video or have gotten information from witnesses. If you went to the doctor that night or the next day, it's harder for the defendant to argue you got hurt doing something else versus if you didn't seek medical treatment for a few weeks. The other driver also may have made a recorded statement to you or the insurance company.
To learn more about how to make a personal injury claim if you didn't call 911 after a car accident, contact a local personal injury attorney today.