When to Call the Authorities After a Car Accident- Riverside Police Department

A car accident is incredibly stressful, and injuries simply make things worse. It can be difficult to determine what to do first and to collect yourself after a collision. Should you call for emergency help, head to an urgent care facility or call a tow truck? No matter how minor the accident, one thing you should always do is contact the authorities. If you have been involved in an accident in Riverside, then you need to call the Riverside Police Department to report the incident while you are still at the scene.

Reporting a Car Accident to Law Enforcement in Riverside

When you are in an accident with injuries in California, you are required to make a police report about the incident. If your accident was in Riverside, then you’ll need to make a report to the Riverside Police Department. According to California Vehicle Code Section 20008 as the driver of a vehicle involved in an accident that resulted in injuries, you are required by law to make a report within 24 hours.

If you have already called the police and they arrive at the scene of your accident to make a report, then you do not need to head to the police department on your own. The officer will file the appropriate report and if needed, forward it to the correct department.

What Kind of Injuries are Included?

Any accident that has an injury or death needs to be reported by law. Injuries to drivers, cyclists, pedestrians, vehicle passengers and other parties should trigger an immediate call to the authorities to report the incident so you can fully comply with the law. Any deaths at the scene should also be reported immediately; for most cases you need to call emergency medical assistance as well, to be sure any injuries are properly treated and that your case is fully documented. 

Do I Need to Report the Accident to the DMV?

The laws that apply to filing a police report also stipulate that you should report car accidents to the California DMV in certain conditions. If there were injuries, even mild ones, if someone was killed in the accident or there was property damage in excess of $750, then you also have to report the accident to the DMV within 10 days.

Who Else Needs to be Notified? 

Your car insurer will want to know that you have been in an accident; you are not required by law to inform them, but the terms of your car insurance likely stipulate that they be notified as soon as possible. You should also seek out the help of a car accident attorney to ensure that you are treated fairly by the other parties involved and to get the best possible outcome for your case. 

If you have been in an accident, you need to report it to the police, both to comply with the law and to document the accident in the event of a lawsuit or settlement. We understand how difficult the aftermath of an accident can be and stand ready to help you gain closure after you’ve been injured. Contact Harshbarger Law right away to talk about the specific details of your case and to discover what your next steps should be.