Protecting Your Rights Throughout Eastern Iowa Since 1981

Should you call the police after a car accident?

On Behalf of | May 14, 2024 | Personal Injury

If you are involved in a car accident, you may have different questions running through your mind. And one of them may be whether or not to call the police.

Do all car accidents warrant involving the police? Here is what you should know:

Local law enforcement

If you are involved in a car accident that results in a fatality, an injury or total property damage of $1,500 or more, you need to call local law enforcement. If the accident occurs on the Capital complex, contact Iowa State Patrol, Post 16.

An officer will come to the scene to fill out a police report. Ensure you obtain a copy of the police report.

Use the Iowa Accident Report Form

If a law enforcement agency does not investigate the accident you are involved in, perhaps they are unable to come to the scene, but it meets the aspects mentioned above, warranting calling the police, you need to report it on an Iowa Accident Report Form.

On this form, you will provide details regarding the crash (date, time, location, number of vehicles involved, number of injured/killed and so on), information about all drivers and vehicles involved and insurance information.

You will then mail pages 3 and 4 to the Iowa Department of Transportation (Page 1 will be instructions for completing the form and page 2 will be accident codes used on the form – you don’t need to mail these pages).

You need to return the form within 72 hours. Failure to do this may result in the suspension of your driving privileges. You may also lose your driving privileges if you fail to provide some details, such as not completing insurance coverage information.

If you are involved in an accident, it’s vital to be informed about the steps to take to protect your case. Calling the police is not just a legal necessity, it can also result in vital evidence that could help your compensation claim succeed.