Getting into an auto accident is stressful enough; having to contact a lawyer and give your insurance company a call is even worse. On top of all those phone calls, you may also have to contact the police. How do you know who to call after an auto accident, and when?
Whether you get into a fender-bender on the I-15 heading into Salt Lake City or make an unfortunate mistake while parking, follow these tips to better understand your legal liabilities and make your crash situation a little less hectic.
After a car crash, most people’s first thought is to call the police. However, how do you know whether to call the emergency line or the non-emergency line? The legal requirements vary by state, but it’s generally advisable to call the emergency line — the 911 number — if someone is injured on the scene or if suspected vehicle damages exceed $1,000.
If nobody in injured and the damages are minimal, you might want to call your local police office’s non-emergency line. In Salt Lake City, the non-emergency number is 801-743-7000. Even if it’s not a medical emergency, having an officer on the scene can help expedite the process.
Your Insurance Company
After you’ve exchanged information with the other party and any injuries have been taken care of, you should contact your insurance company. You can do this after you get home from the scene of the accident, or even the next day.
You should contact your insurance agent no matter the details of the accident — whether the other driver was at fault, you were at fault, or if the other driver has no car insurance coverage whatsoever. Make sure to give your insurance agent all the relevant details, such as the other driver’s personal information, the other party’s insurance information, the name of the law enforcement agency responding to the accident — such as the Unified Police of Greater Salt Lake City — and any other relevant details.
After you’ve dealt with the police and your insurance agent, it’s time to decide whether or not you need legal representation. If your auto accident was relatively minor — with minor injuries, vehicle damage, etc. — you may not need to contact a lawyer at all. However, if there were significant injuries or if the other party is disputing the facts of the auto accident, you may benefit from having an experienced personal injury lawyer at your side.
Whether you get into a major auto accident outside of Salt Lake City or you accidentally sideswipe a parked car in your neighborhood, don’t be afraid to contact a lawyer if you are unsure about your case.