Being involved in a car accident isn’t just upsetting; it can also raise questions about what you are legally obligated to do moving forward. One question that we often hear is regarding the legal requirement to call the police to the scene of an accident in Connecticut. The answer, however, is dependent upon many factors, including the extent of injuries and the amount of property damage. Here’s an overview of what you need to know about calling the police to the scene of an accident in Connecticut.
Your Responsibilities after an Accident in Connecticut
Whether or not you have to call the police to the scene of an accident in Connecticut can be confusing. The laws regarding your legal duties after an accident are found in Connecticut code Section 14-224, and are explained, in brief, below:
- When an accident results in death. When an accident results in death in Connecticut, an operator of a motor vehicle is legally obligated to immediately stop their vehicle and render reasonable assistance and should immediately report the death to a police officer. It should go without saying that if you are in an accident that results in death, you should not hesitate to call the police to the scene of the accident.
- When an accident results in serious or minor injuries. If an accident occurs that results in injuries to a party, whether those injuries are serious or minor, you are required to stop your vehicle, render reasonable assistance, and provide the other party with your name, address, driver’s license number, and registration information. You are also required to report the accident to the police. Keep in mind that when injuries are serious, rendering “such assistance that may be needed” could very well include calling the police to obtain emergency services. As such, you should not hesitate to contact the police and call them to the accident scene.
- When an accident results in property damage. Did you know that if you are involved in an accident in Connecticut that causes property damage, even if no one sustains injuries, you are required to stop your vehicle at the scene? You are also required to provide the owner of the property that was damaged with your name, address, and driver’s license number and registration information. Further, if you are unable to provide the other party with this information (i.e. you hit a vehicle that was unoccupied), you must report the incident to the police. However, you do not necessarily need to call the police to the accident scene.
The Importance of Reporting an Accident to the Police
Not only is the reporting of an accident to the police a legal requirement in most cases, but reporting an accident can also help to protect your rights during the claims process. This is because having a police report on file provides a source of proof that the accident occurred, and that damages–whether to your person or vehicle–were sustained. What’s more, in the event of serious crashes where injuries are sustained or property damage totals more than a few hundred dollars, calling the police to the scene is advised as a police report provides an additional form of evidence. When a police officer can come to the scene of the crash, they will be able to make more detailed notes about what they believe happened, the position of the vehicles, other forms of evidence (skid marks), and obvious damage. Coming to the scene of an accident also provides an officer with the ability to interview witnesses.
Filing a Claim and Recovering Your Maximum Settlement Amount after a Connecticut Crash
If you are injured in an accident in Connecticut, we encourage you to contact our experienced Connecticut car accident lawyers at The APEX Law Firm, LLC. We serve clients throughout the state and can review your case for free today. Contact The APEX Law Firm today at (860) 900-0900 in Hartford County or visit us at uptonlegal.com to schedule a free consultation today – our attorneys are ready to help you!