1. Free Legal Help, Legal Forms and Lawyers. TheLaw.com has been providing free legal assistance online since 1995. Our most popular destinations for legal help are below. It only takes a minute to join our legal community!

    Dismiss Notice

Why do I have to go to police station?

Discussion in 'Accidents, Injuries, Negligence' started by Gentlemanx7, Nov 19, 2017.

  1. Gentlemanx7

    Gentlemanx7 Law Topic Starter New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Jurisdiction:
    California
    Hi,

    I was involved in a car accident last week of September and what happened was I was in a one lane drop off zone at union station. After I picked up the person, as I was slowly driving away, some guy opened his driver side door and when he did that, clipped my car and left damage. I have pictures. So I tried getting his insurance information but he wasn’t giving to me. I asked him many times but he wouldn’t do it. I had to go. I took pictures of him, his car, damage, everything and left. I contacted my insurance company and filed a claim and after weeks of them investigating, they could not find the driver based off his plate number and his tcp number. I got an estimate but chose not to get the damage fixed yet.

    Fast forward to yesterday, and I get a letter from the police department saying I have to come in because of a traffic collision that occurred. I have to show up in person and that’s really all the info they gave me.

    I’ve never heard of anything like this. Why is the police contacting me. If anything, I would think his insurance would be trying to get ahold of me. What can I expect when I go in to the police department? Jail? Do I say anything or ask for a lawyer? I really don’t understand why they need me to come in. What should I do?

    Any information is more than appreciated at this point and thank you very much I’m advance.
     
  2. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

    Messages:
    11,478
    Likes Received:
    2,026
    Trophy Points:
    113

    You won't go to jail. In fact, you don't even have to go. They want you to come in voluntarily but aren't forcing you to do so.

    It seems this was some sort of commercial vehicle that you were involved with. There is no telling what the driver/employee reported regarding the damage, but I suspect you were reported for hit and run- just my guess.

    You can go in and tell them what happened, show your photos, and explain whatever you like. You can also choose to not go at all.

    No, this is not anything you need an attorney for.
     
  3. Gentlemanx7

    Gentlemanx7 Law Topic Starter New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Thank you for your reply.

    The letter says if I don’t go a warrant may be issued or my car may get impounded.

    If the guy said hit and run that’s such a load of crap there are surveillance cameras everywhere. I don’t have to convince you we were pulled over and I was asking him over and over for his ins info. He pretended he didn’t speak English.

    So now knowing the letter threatens me with a warrant, even though it says maybe, what would you recommend?

    Again thank you very much, at least know I have some peace of mind.
     
  4. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

    Messages:
    10,971
    Likes Received:
    4,164
    Trophy Points:
    113

    Go in with duplicates of all your photos and explain what happened.

    You understand that you should have called the police to the scene at the time of the accident, don't you?

    Self preservation is nobody's business but your own.
     
  5. Gentlemanx7

    Gentlemanx7 Law Topic Starter New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    No, I was not aware that I HAVE to call the police. I’m Los Angeles, it usually takes them 2+ hours to show up, if they show at all. Is that a law?
     
  6. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

    Messages:
    11,478
    Likes Received:
    2,026
    Trophy Points:
    113

    If there were no injuries you may not have gotten a response at all, but you could have reported it.
    You are not required by law to wait for police. You are required to stop and exchange information with the other driver The other driver could be in some trouble for not providing information, however I suspect the version of events the police have already been given are very different than yours and nobody will know for sure what happened. Most people, having failed to obtain the necessary information, would then have called police.
    Also, if the damage is above $900 you are required to fill out an SR-1 form showing proof of insurance to the DMV. Failure to do that can lead to a license suspension and fine.
    If things happened exactly as you say I would not hesitate to speak with the police and provide a statement.
    If you don't go it is unlikely a warrant would be issued unless there is significantly more to the story you haven't shared.
     
  7. Gentlemanx7

    Gentlemanx7 Law Topic Starter New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    How do I prove that I was trying to exchange info with the guy, he wasn’t cooperating so I took pictures of liscence plate, he took pictures of mine, I took pictures of him, he took pictures of me. Thinking that was enough I left because I had to go and I left. He prb said I hit and run which is not true. I would have gladly gave him all my info, he was pretending to be on the phone and wouldn’t say a word to me. Awesome guy. What am I supposed to do?
     
  8. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

    Messages:
    11,478
    Likes Received:
    2,026
    Trophy Points:
    113

    Your pictures will likely be sufficient to prove you at least stopped and didn't flee. Neither side will be able to prove what was said. You will just disagree. The police won't really care- they are going to tell both of you to resolve it through your insurance companies.

    You should have written down your contact information and left it with him. You learned the minimum requirements when you obtained your license, and your insurance company tells you the same.

    For all you know he was on the phone calling police. By the time they came you were long gone and did not leave your information. Your leaving without giving information is just as bad as him not providing his information.
     
  9. Gentlemanx7

    Gentlemanx7 Law Topic Starter New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    I will contact legal aid tomorrow morning but just to play Devils Advocate, what if I did nothing at all like you first suggested? The car is under someone else’s name and the piece of mail came there, not to where I live. I firmly believe the letter was like a scare tactic. Regardless there’s no way I’m speaking to the police without a lawyer. They manipulate people and get them to incriminate themselves even if they think they aren’t. So no matter I won’t be going in or calling. I also feel like an attorney will hype it up to get business, I guess I’ll go to like 5 and compare what they say. So, what if I do nothing at all?
     
  10. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

    Messages:
    11,478
    Likes Received:
    2,026
    Trophy Points:
    113

    If the letter from the police was sent to the registered owner of the car and not to you then that is even more reason why you can disregard the letter. Is the owner the one being asked to appear? The owner needs to be aware of this if not already.

    If police really want to speak with you they know how to find you.

    Don't disregard the SR-1 requirement. Submitting the SR-1 will deflate any allegation that you fled from the accident with intent to avoid financial responsibility.

    This issue is going to be reduced to a civil issue to be sorted out by insurance companies. You should not be so concerned about speaking with police over a civil matter. Yes, they may use strong and scary language to try and persuade people to come to them so they don't have to go searching for them over petty issues, but the letter is likely a form letter that would be sent to anyone regardless of circumstances.

    You decide what you want to do. You have no legal obligation to do anything at all unless ordered by a court.
     
  11. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,717
    Likes Received:
    1,748
    Trophy Points:
    113

    How should we know?

    Since neither you nor your insurance carrier has been able to identify the other driver, why would you think his insurance carrier would even know about the incident?

    Probably to be asked some questions about the incident that occurred.

    You're kidding, right?

    I don't know what you do, but I can't conceive why you'd involve a lawyer over something like this.

    Howzabout calling the person who sent you a letter and asking, "do I really need to go there in person?" That seems pretty obvious, don'tcha think?

    Always great when folks don't include relevant information in their original posts. My comments above still stand, but it sounds like maybe the other driver reported this as a hit and run (which makes me wonder why you didn't report the other driver's refusal to exchange IDs and insurance info).

    You weren't obligated to call the cops. The law requires that drivers involved in an accident must provide each other with ID and insurance info. Thus, the other driver's refusal to do that was a crime. While you were not obligated to do so, you should have called the police and reported this in order to protect yourself from exactly appears to be happening now.

    You already answered this question: "a warrant may be issued or [your] car may get impounded."
     

Share This Page