Should I call the police?
It is always a good idea to call the police and request a police report. A lot of police departments will not come to the accident scene unless it is a serious accident and/or someone is injured. Each department handles accident calls for service different.
What information should I give and what should I get?
Driver's licenses, addresses/phone numbers, insurance information should be exchanged. Get a good description of the involved vehicles (make, model, year, license number/expiration date, and vehicle identification number, if obtainable. Names, addresses, phone numbers of vehicle passengers, witnesses. If witnesses won't stay for the police, then ask them to write down a description of what they saw, heard, etc. If witnesses are not cooperative, then try to get their vehicle license numbers. The name of each police officer at the scene. The location of the police department where a copy of the accident report can be obtained. Make a simple diagram of the accident scene. Also, and extremely important, take photographs of all involved vehicle, passengers, witnesses, and accident scene from the point of view of all involved persons. Get a good description of the accident (estimated speeds, direction of travel, street names, City, distances to permanent objects (curb, crosswalks, etc.).
What if the police give me a ticket?
You are required to sign it. Signing it does not admit your guilt; it only means that you acknowledge that the police officer gave you a ticket and that you promise to appear in court (where you are given the opportunity to defend yourself). Note well, however, that it is not a good idea to plead, “guilty” at the hearing on the ticket since that may be used against you in any civil action that may be taken against you. It is best to plead, “No Contest” if you do not feel you can defend the ticket successfully.
Who do I have to report the accident to?
Police department if there is an injury (it's a good idea to call even if there isn't) You Insurance Company should be notified Department of Motor Vehicles (D.M.V.) if property damage exceeds $500.00 or if there is an injury to anyone or if anyone is killed. The accident should be reported on form D.M.V. SR-1. Your insurance company will give one to you or you can get one directly from the D.M.V.
What if I'm injured? What do I do and who pays?
If you're injured, see a doctor as soon as possible. If the other person is responsible, then that person's insurance company must pay for things like your reasonable and customary medical bills, your lost income, your pain and suffering, and your property damage (including the loss-of-use of your vehicle for a reasonable period of time) etc. At the Law Offices of Dariush Kiani we can take care of all of your problems and all of your needs in relations to any accidents.