Posted by Brandon J. Broderick on 05/14/2021

Do you call the cops if you're involved in a car accident?

Do you call the cops if you're involved in a car accident? Do you dial 911 to report the accident and have a cop sent to the scene? Or do you share information with the other driver and handle all of the repairs and other tasks on your own? Most drivers have asked themselves these questions at some point in their lives, and if you have, you are not alone.

In New Jersey, am I required to call the police after a car accident? 

If a driver is involved in a car accident in New Jersey that results in more than $500 in property damage, he or she is required by law to report the accident to law enforcement. In other words, if you're ever in a car accident and the property damage appears to be at least $500 (which is very easy to do given how expensive car repairs are), you must call the cops right away. This is simple to do because you almost certainly have a cellphone with you at all times. If you don't, you should be able to persuade the other driver or a witness to call 911 on your behalf.

Other Requirements for Reporting 

Are there any other instances in which you should contact the police and report a negative incident involving your vehicle? Without a doubt. If your vehicle is damaged in a hit-and-run accident, stolen, or vandalized by a gang, a band of rowdy teenagers, or anyone else who may intentionally damage your vehicle, you must report it to the police.

You might not realize it, but police reports are required in New Jersey. If something happens to your vehicle, such as a collision or theft, and you don't report it to the police and obtain a police report, your insurance company may deny your claim entirely. 

In addition to the foregoing, insurance companies demand that damaged vehicles be inspected before being repaired by their owners. So, the moral of the story is to always file a police report and have your vehicle inspected by your insurance company before having it repaired by an auto repair shop. However, you should not contact an insurance company without first protecting your legal rights by contacting our law firm.

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