In some instances, it will be readily apparent when you need to contact law enforcement after a car accident. For example, a tractor-trailer collision in Bayonne that resulted in Route 440 shutting down would make for an obvious instance of when contacting the police is necessary.
Other times, it may not be as obvious you should call the police after a car crash. Many of the accidents that happen in New Jersey every day are smaller in nature. They may not lead to substantial injuries, but a police report may still come in handy for your future claim.
What does the law say?
The law in New Jersey states that drivers must contact law enforcement after a car accident when certain conditions are present. In the event the collision resulted in the injury or death of anyone or resulted in property damage over $500, then a report is necessary. The driver must file a report to one of three agencies:
- New Jersey State Police
- The nearest county police office
- The local police department
When should you report the accident?
In general, you want to contact the police as soon as possible. You can call the cops at the scene, and they will come out to file a report. In the event you are unable to get the police to come out to the scene, then you have 10 days to file a written report. You need to use the New Jersey Self-Reporting Crash form if there was no police investigation.
What should you do if you are unsure?
When in doubt, you should always call the police after a car accident. If the police believe the accident is too minor, then they might not show up. However, you should do your best to get an official police report. It will help immensely with the future claims process if you end up requiring compensation.