| Read Time: 3 minutes | Car Accidents
Do I Have to Call The Police for a Minor Car Accident in CA

Navigating the aftermath of a car accident can be overwhelming, even for minor incidents. One of the first questions that often comes to mind is, Do I need to call the police for a minor car accident? In California, specific circumstances require you to report a car accident to the police. The Law Offices of Ali Yousefi, P.C., answers this common question below to help you understand California’s laws about reporting car accidents.

Do I Have to Call the Police for a Minor Car Accident in CA?

You should always call the police, even if the accident seems minor. This is because even minor accidents can have hidden damage or injuries that may not be immediately apparent. California laws require you to report any car accident that results in:

  • Injuries or death. If someone is injured or killed in the accident, you must call the police or the California Highway Patrol (CHP) immediately. If you are unable to contact the police at the scene of the accident, you must go to the nearest police station and file a report within 24 hours.
  • Property damage exceeding $1,000. If the visible damage to the vehicles involved in the accident is estimated to cost more than $1,000 to repair, you must report the accident to the DMV within ten days. 

If no one appears injured and there is no need for an ambulance, inform the dispatcher that a police officer is sufficient for the scene. You may also consider contacting a non-emergency services line for assistance. 

It is important to note that failing to report an accident that results in injury, death, or property damage exceeding $1,000 can lead to a fine or even the suspension of your driver’s license.

You should also report an accident to the police in the following situations:

  • Hit-and-run accidents,
  • Accidents involving uninsured or unlicensed drivers, and 
  • Accidents involving disagreements or disputes.

Even if your accident doesn’t meet the above criteria, it’s still a good idea to contact the police as a safety measure.

Why You Should Call the Police After a Minor Car Accident

It is important to call the police even if your car has minor or no damage after a minor accident so that a police report can be filed. A police report can be beneficial for insurance claims and legal actions, providing a detailed account of the incident. It can also aid in identifying potential hazards and working with authorities to address them. 

If there are injuries, the police can call for medical assistance and control traffic to prevent further accidents. Their presence can bring calm and order to chaos. Contacting the police prevents heartache and saves time and money.

What to Do After a Minor Car Accident in CA

If you’ve been involved in a minor car accident in California, there’s no need to panic! Follow these simple steps to protect your rights:

  • Exchange information. Exchange contact and insurance information with the other drivers involved. This includes your name, address, phone number, driver’s license number, and insurance policy details.
  • Document the accident. Take pictures of the damage to all vehicles involved, the surrounding area, and any visible injuries. 
  • File a police report. Contact the police to file a report. Provide them with all the details of the accident and the information you gathered.
  • Contact your insurance company. Inform your insurance company about the accident immediately.
  • Seek legal advice. If you have any concerns or questions regarding your rights or legal obligations following the accident, it’s best to consult an experienced auto accident lawyer.

Remember, even if the accident seems minor, following these steps is crucial to protect yourself and your legal interests.

Do I Need to Contact a Lawyer for a Minor Car Accident In California?

Getting involved in a car accident can be a stressful and overwhelming experience. If you have suffered any injuries, even minor ones, talking to an auto accident lawyer is always a good idea. Their extensive experience can help you understand your rights and options and represent you if you need to file an insurance claim or take legal action against the other driver.

We’ll Help You with Your Car Accident Claim

At the Law Offices of Ali Yousefi, PC, we focus on car accident claims, employment law issues, and family law matters. Our team of experienced attorneys provides personalized advice to help our clients navigate the complex California legal system. We are committed to being our clients’ trusted legal partners and helping them make informed decisions about their legal needs. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Author Photo

Attorney Ali Yousefi is the founder of Law Offices of Ali Yousefi, P.C., and has distinguished himself as one of the leading lawyers in California. Ali values that his work allows him to make a direct, positive impact on the lives of people who have experienced stressful or traumatic events.

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