Should I Call the Police if I am Involved in an Automobile Accident?
As a general rule, it is always a good idea to call the police, when involved in an automobile accident. However, there are some limited circumstances where it might be to your advantage not to call the police. Some of these situations will be discussed in the following answer.
Clearly, if you are involved in an automobile accident and it is not your fault you should call the police. If you are not hurt and there is no property damage you might want to consider not calling the police. However, always be careful that the other party to the accident might try and make a claim even though accident was their fault, if the police were not called. What people say at the scene of an accident to you, is frequently a lot different than what they tell the police or their insurance company. Therefore, it is always safest to call the police.
In the situation where the accident is your fault, it can be advantageous to not call the police. If the other driver is willing to simply exchange information and “deal with it later”, I would probably do so. I would always take photos at the scene of your car and the damage you caused to the other car. This way it would limit the exaggeration of the claim later on. By not calling the police, you have probably saved yourself a traffic citation. As long as there is a complete exchange of information and a willingness on the part of all parties to not call the police, you should consider doing so. Under no circumsatance should you ever leave the scene of an accident or leave without a full exchange of information and an agreement to do so by all parities involved.
In conclusion, when an accident is not your fault I would advise to always call the police. However, in the limited circumstances outlined above, it could be beneficial to not call the police.