Jill Kolodner | October 20, 2022 | Car Accidents
No one ever expects to be in a car accident; unfortunately, they occur far too often. A good percentage of car accidents are not life-threatening and tend to be only minor car accidents, which are sometimes referred to as “fender benders.” Regardless of the extent of the accident, most people wonder what they should do next after they find themselves involved in a car crash.
Each state has specific reporting laws based on the type of collision, the amount of property damage suffered, or if someone died as a result of a car accident. Reporting a fender-bender accident to the police is not required in most states in most situations, including Maryland.
However, in a scenario where a driver (or passenger) has been severely injured or has died in a car accident, the police must be contacted immediately under Maryland law. Additionally, if a car must be towed, the cops will need to be contacted. There will also be other circumstances, which will be discussed further below, for which you may want to contact the police after a fender bender has occurred.
Other Reasons Why You Would Want To Have the Police Involved
There are plenty of reasons a person should consider contacting the police after a fender happens, even if it is not required to do so by law. Such scenarios include, but are not limited to, the following:
- The other driver involved in the fender bender refuses to share their insurance information with you.
- The other driver involved in the fender bender does not have insurance.
- The other driver involved in the fender bender does not have a driver’s license.
- The other driver involved in the fender bender seems to be under the influence of alcohol or some other type of drug.
- The other driver involved in the fender bender flees the scene of the accident.
Contacting the police will create an official record of the accident, which could benefit you down the line if you need to file a claim. If you are in a fender bender and request a police officer to be present at the scene, they are required to take down a report, file it, and provide the report upon the request of you, the other driver, or upon the request of a court. Click here to request an accident report in Baltimore, Maryland.
When Are You Required To Call the Police, and When Are You Not?
Pursuant to Maryland Transportation, section 20-107, drivers do not have to report fender benders unless the accident results in a bodily injury. If there has been an injury or death, you are required to either call the police or report the car accident to the Motor Vehicle Administration within 15 days of the car accident.
What Are the Benefits of Reporting a Fender Bender to the Police?
Even though the damage to your car or injury to your body may be slight at first, bigger issues may arise later on. Some bodily injuries do not present themselves at all right after an accident. Having the police write up a report regarding your fender bender may come in handy when dealing with your insurance company, the other driver’s insurance company, or in the unfortunate event that you should have to bring a claim against any of the above-mentioned persons or insurance companies.
You will want to pay close attention to your timing if you decide to file a claim. Each state has a limitation regarding when you can bring a claim and when it is too late to bring a claim. This time limit is also known as a state’s statute of limitations. The court may refuse to hear the case if a claim is not filed before the expiration of the set period outlined within the state’s statute.
In Maryland, the statute of limitations for personal injury, wrongful death, and an insurance company’s breach of contract claim is three years. The court will stick with this deadline requirement unless you have an exception.
Calling the Police After a Fender Bender Is the Safe Thing To Do
Even if Maryland law does not require you to report your car accident, it is highly recommended that you do so. The police report can provide you with important information regarding the accident that you could use if you do decide to file a lawsuit. If you have additional questions or need to file a legal cause of action, contact an experienced attorney in this area of law for guidance.