Should You Call the Cops for a Fender Bender in Kansas City, MO?
Ryan Bradley | May 4, 2023 | Car Accident
It can be tempting not to call the cops after a fender bender in Kansas City, Missouri. There is only minor damage, and everyone says they are okay.
So, why wait for the police to arrive and take up your time preparing a police report for some minor property damage? Because you might be breaking the law if you fail to notify law enforcement after a fender bender in Kansas City, MO.
You Are Required By Law to Report Most Car Accidents in Missouri
Missouri law requires you to report a car accident when specific circumstances apply.
You must report a car accident in Missouri when:
- The accident involves an uninsured driver
- Someone is injured or killed in the accident
- The accident results in property damage of $500 or more
The quickest and easiest way to report a car accident in Kansas City is to call 911. The operator dispatches the appropriate law enforcement agency with jurisdiction over the accident scene. The police investigate the crash and file an accident report.
For minor car crashes, the police might not respond to the accident scene. If the police do not investigate and report the crash, you have 30 days to report the accident. You can go directly to the nearest police precinct to file an accident report.
Why Should I Call the Cops After a Fender Bender in Kansas City, MO?
There are several reasons why it is wise to call the police from the accident scene to report a car accident.
It Is Difficult to Estimate Property Damages
Even a fender bender can cause more than $500 in property damage to a vehicle. Therefore, you comply with the law when you call the police to report a minor car crash. Until a mechanic inspects your car, you do not know how much the repairs will cost.
You Might Be Injured More Severely Than You Assume
Determining whether you sustained injuries is difficult until a doctor examines you. The shock and adrenaline rush caused by a car accident can mask many injury symptoms. However, after getting home, you might begin to experience signs of injuries.
If you did not call the police because you said you were okay and did not sustain injuries, it could make it more challenging to prove that the car accident caused your injuries. The insurance company for the other driver could use your comments after the accident and your failure to call the police as a basis for denying your insurance claim.
Furthermore, the other driver might claim they were not involved in a car crash with you. Without a car accident report by a police officer, it would be your word against the other driver’s word. You would need to obtain sufficient evidence to prove that the collision occurred.
A Police Report Can Help with an Insurance Claim
Missouri requires drivers to have minimum amounts of motor vehicle insurance. If you file a claim with the other driver’s insurance company, you want an accident report completed by a police officer to prove that the crash occurred.
Also, the police report for the car crash might state that the other driver caused the collision. Even though an accident report is not evidence proving fault, it can make settling the claim with the liability insurance company easier.
Steps to Take After a Kansas City Car Accident to Protect Your Rights
The steps you take after a Kansas City car accident can help or hurt your chance of recovering a fair settlement for your personal injury claim.
Steps you can take to protect your rights after a car crash include:
- Call 911 immediately to report the car accident to the police
- Avoid making statements that could be interpreted as admitting fault for the crash, including saying you are sorry
- Take photographs of the cars and make a video of the accident scene
- Ask people who might have witnessed the accident for their names and contact information
- Seek medical treatment immediately after the car accident
- Avoid talking to an insurance company or adjuster before you talk with a lawyer about your case
- Document your damages by keeping copies of all documents and expenses
- Take photographs of your injuries
Under Missouri personal injury laws, you could receive compensation for your economic and non-economic damages. The amount you receive depends on the circumstances of your accident.
Before you accept a settlement offer from an insurance company, talk with a Kansas City car accident lawyer during a free consultation. The attorney will tell you whether the settlement offer compensates you for all damages you are entitled to receive in a car accident claim.
Contact Our Car Accident Law Firm For Help Today
For more information, please contact Bradley Law Personal Injury Lawyers at your nearest location to schedule a free case evaluation today.
St. Louis Office
1430 Washington Ave Suite #226 St. Louis, MO 63103
Kansas City Office
1509 NE Parvin Rd, Suite A., Kansas City, MO 64116
Or if you would prefer to reach out to us online, please visit our contact us page.