Another car hit yours, and the driver persuaded you not to call the police. Perhaps the driver reminded you of yourself when you were younger, or there did not seem to be any injuries or serious damage.
However, you now wonder if you should have called the police. What might happen next?
The driver’s story could change
One pitfall is that the driver’s recital of what happened could be markedly different from what actually happened. Maybe he or she says now that you are the one who started the accident and blames you for an injury. You may be able to disprove this through car examinations, pictures taken right after the accident and witness accounts, but not always.
In many cases, it is a good idea to consult with an attorney if you are in a car accident and may need compensation. When the other driver’s story changes, getting a lawyer is even more imperative.
The driver might have contacted police first
If you later try to report the accident to police yourself, you may meet with the startling surprise that the driver already did so. In such cases, it is entirely possible that the other driver cast you as the person to blame.
Your insurance company may have a problem
Some insurance companies require a police report before they make payments following an accident. So, not contacting the police could leave you on the hook for many hundreds or thousands of dollars. However, quite a few minor accidents do not need to be reported in Pennsylvania, nor are police required to respond to every accident call and to investigate.
In many cases, it turns out OK
The good news is that in many cases, not calling the police does turn out OK. After all, quite a few accidents result in no damage or barely noticeable damage and no injuries. It may even be that you are the one who thought it unnecessary to call the police. At the minimum, though, do try to collect the other driver’s contact information, insurance information, license plate number and driver’s license number. Whenever in doubt, no matter how tiny the kernel, call police.