When you’re in a car accident for the first time, it’s not as if you inherently “know” exactly what to do. Usually, aside from getting the other driver’s information, people don’t know how to conduct themselves after a car accident, and this is understandable since it’s a new experience.
When you’re in a crash, do you call the police? What if it’s a minor fender-bender, would a 911 call be a waste of the police department’s time? Will you get a bill in the mail if you call the police and it’s minor? These are the types of questions people ask themselves while standing at the accident scene, trying to decide what to do next.
This is When You Should Call the Police
The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) has something to say about calling the police and fortunately, they’ve made their advice heard loud and clear over the internet. According to TxDOT, drivers should always call the police when:
- An injury was involved
- Someone died in the crash
- The vehicles in the crash are so damaged, they can’t be safely moved
- You suspect that the other driver is under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or both
- The other driver does not have auto insurance
- The other driver leaves the scene of the accident
“If there is damage to the vehicle, stop and exchange information. If someone is hurt, render aid and notify law enforcement. If you hit an unattended vehicle, find the driver or write your name and address on a note explaining what happened. You must also include the owner’s name and address if the vehicle you are driving doesn’t belong to you,” states TxDOT’s website.
TxDOT manages crash records for the State of Texas. Under Section 550.062 of the Texas Transportation Code, whenever in the course of their duties a law enforcement officer investigates a car accident that resulted in injuries, death, or property damage of $1,000 or more, the officer is required to submit a crash report to TxDOT within 10 days of the crash.