What Should I Do After a Crash? Exchange Information or Call the Police?

argument in front of damaged cars

Some crash victims do not want to make a big thing out of a crash. They would prefer to exchange information with the other driver and leave. They figure they can deal with the aftermath of the collision on their own without calling the police.

Below, the experienced Minneapolis auto accident lawyers at TSR Injury Law talk about the steps you should take after a collision. We also explain why it is usually a good idea to call the police after a crash, even if you think you only have minor injuries.

If you have questions about what to do after being involved in a car crash, give us a call to set up a free consultation. We have helped many Minnesota crash victims secure the compensation they needed for a car crash injury.

TSR Injury Law. Experienced Lawyers. Proven Results. Call (612) TSR-TIME.

Why Only Exchanging Information May Be a Bad Idea

You could run into trouble if you do not call the police after a crash. Here are a few of the reasons why:

How Do You Know the Other Driver Is Being Honest?

How do you know the other driver is giving you accurate information, including his or her:

  • Real name
  • Phone number
  • insurance information

Even if he or she shows you a valid driver’s license and insurance card and sends you a text message so you have the phone number in your phone, he or she may not return your calls.

People often forget or put off updating their driver’s license. The address on it may no longer be correct.

Sometimes at-fault drivers rush through exchanging information. They may say they have an appointment to get to or some other obligation.

They may seem nice and like someone who will take responsibility for their actions. The fact is you do not know them and there is no way to know if you can trust them.

You May Not Be Able To Seek Compensation Without a Police Report

If you call the insurance company, they may deny liability. They may claim you do not have a case because you did not call the police.

Even though Minnesota is a no-fault state, it is important to have a police report from the scene of the crash because:

  • Some insurance policies require a police report to set up a claim.
  • The at fault party may change their story and when you try to make a liability claim, it is denied.

It Can Be Harder To Prove Fault

If you do not have a police report, it may be difficult to establish fault. If the driver leaves the scene, you will not have pictures of the damage to his or her vehicle. The insurance company may say the crash could not have been that big of a deal because you did not call the police right away.

Your Injuries May Be More Severe Than You Realize

It may take a few hours or days for symptoms to develop, and by that point you could be dealing with a significant amount of pain.

If you do not call the police or seek treatment right away, you are giving the insurance company room to claim your injuries were caused by something else.

Linking Your Injuries and the Collision

It is important to establish a strong connection between your injuries and the accident. You can do this by calling the police right away, seeking treatment, and contacting a licensed attorney to help review your options. When victims treat a crash as a serious situation, it becomes more difficult for insurance companies to say otherwise.

When Are You Required to Call the Police After a Minnesota Crash? (add FAQ schema)

Leaving the scene of a crash without calling the police may be illegal, depending on the details of the crash. Under state law, those involved in collisions that result in bodily injury or death must provide notice to:

  • Local police if the crash happened within a municipality
  • State patrol if the crash happened on a highway
  • Office of the sheriff of the county

What Are the Penalties for Not Reporting a Crash in Minnesota?

Minnesota imposes severe penalties on drivers who fail to report a crash that results in injury or death:

  • In case of a fatality:
    • If the collision results in the death of another person, and you, as the driver, fail to report it, you are facing serious consequences.
    • The law considers this a felony.
    • The penalties can include imprisonment for up to three years, a fine of up to $5,000, or possibly both.
  • In case of great bodily harm:
    • If the accident results in “great bodily harm” (a term legally defined in section 609.02, subdivision 8), not reporting it is also a felony.
    • Penalties include imprisonment for up to two years, a fine of up to $4,000, or both.
  • In case of substantial bodily harm:
    • For accidents causing “substantial bodily harm” (as defined in section 609.02, subdivision 7a), the penalties are slightly less severe but still significant.
    • You could face imprisonment for up to 364 days, a fine of up to $3,000, or both.
    • Additionally, if the collision results in any kind of bodily harm and you fail to report it, you may be sentenced to imprisonment for up to 364 days, or a fine of up to $3,000, or both.

What if it Was Just a Fender Bender?

You might think it is unnecessary to call the police after a fender bender where there are no injuries and only minor damage. However, there are compelling reasons to consider making that call.

A Police Report Provides an Official Account of What Happened

This can be crucial if there are disputes about what happened, and there often are. Insurance companies may be less likely to believe a crash occurred if there is no report.

Minor Damage May Be Worse Than You First Think

What appeared to you as minor damage initially may turn out to be more significant upon closer inspection. Having a police report can simplify the process of claiming insurance coverage for such hidden damages.

Police Reports May Help Resolve Disputes

In cases where the other party seems uncooperative or there is a disagreement about the events, police intervention can help to document the scene.

Ultimately, while it might be legally permissible to skip calling the police for very minor incidents, doing so provides a layer of protection and documentation that can be valuable in the long run, especially in dealing with insurance matters and potential legal disputes.

6 Steps To Take After a Collision

Here is a straightforward guide that outlines the steps you should take after being involved in a crash. These steps are about protecting your health and your legal rights:

  • Move your vehicle away from traffic – This is essential for the safety of everyone in your vehicle. You do not want to get hit by an approaching car, which could cause additional injuries. Turn on your hazard lights and, if you have them, set up road flares behind your vehicle.
  • Check yourself and your passengers for injuries – You may be able to provide first aid to help stabilize certain injuries. You also need to know if someone has a life-threatening injury. When you call 9-1-1, you can tell the operator and they may be able to give you tips on saving the person’s life while you wait for the ambulance to arrive. Remaining calm is critical, as it will help you manage the situation effectively.
  • Report the accident – Immediately call 9-1-1. Provide detailed and factual information to the police, offer your driver’s license and insurance details and get the officers’ names and badge numbers. If police cannot reach the site, you can file a report at a local police station.
  • Document the scene – Take out your smartphone and take pictures of your vehicle and the other driver’s vehicle. It is helpful to get pictures from different angles. You can also take pictures of street signs, crash debris, visible injuries and anything else that may help insurance companies and lawyers understand what happened.
  • Exchange information – Exchange contact and insurance details with the other driver. If there are witnesses, be sure to request their contact information too. This step is critical, whether you call the police or not.
  • Seek medical attention – Even if you feel fine, some injuries manifest later. A medical professional can assess and document any injuries, which is crucial for insurance and legal purposes.

Following these steps can help protect your interests and ensure a smoother process in dealing with the aftermath of a car accident. Remember, your actions immediately following an accident are critical in safeguarding your rights and well-being.

Contact TSR Injury Law Today To Schedule Your Free Legal Consultation

Give us a call today to learn more about how our experienced attorneys may be able to help you. We have assisted many car crash victims over the years, securing millions in compensation through settlements and courtroom verdicts.

There is no risk in contacting us for help because there are no upfront fees for our services. We do not get paid unless our clients get paid, which means there are no fees while we work on your case.

Check out our client testimonials page to see what our past clients had to say about their experience working with us.

TSR Injury Law. We are here to assist you. (612) TSR-TIME

Should You Talk to a Lawyer First or File an Insurance Claim?

black woman looking at damage to her carMost drivers do not think about what they would do after a crash. They either do not want to think about a crash or they think they will simply figure out what to do if a crash happens.

However, your actions after a crash could go a long way in helping or hurting your claim for compensation. For example, if you talk to the insurance company before talking to a lawyer, you might say things that devalue your claim or give the insurance company a basis for denying your claim.

Below, learn more about the benefits of talking to a lawyer before talking to the insurance company. Learn how insurance company representatives often mislead crash victims and even try to trick them into saying things that hurt their claim.

Call TSR Injury Law for help after a crash. (612) TSR-TIME

Dangers of Talking to the Insurance Company First

Crash victims often contact a lawyer after filing an insurance claim. In some cases, the victims themselves reach out to the insurance company first, while in others, the insurance company contacts the victim first.

While many of these victims may end up recovering compensation, particularly the ones who hire attorneys to represent them, there are some risks in talking to the insurance company before talking to a lawyer. These risks are present even if you only want to file a claim and not discuss much else.

Why Insurers Contact Victims

Consider the reasons why the insurance company would contact a victim first. Are they doing it because they want to ensure you receive the compensation you need? Are they really trying to do their best to help take care of you like their advertisements say they are?

Remember that insurance companies are businesses. Their number one goal is to make a profit so they can stay in business. They would not be able to stay in business if they fairly compensated every person who files a claim. They have an incentive to deny or devalue claims whenever possible. The less they pay on claims, the more profit their shareholder’s gain.

That means the insurance company is probably contacting you to find some way to deny or devalue your claim. To help them accomplish this, they often ask for details about your injuries and what you remember about the crash, but they also may suggest a quick (cheap) settlement “to help you” or ask for information they have no right to. Without legal guidance, damage or elimination may be done to a legitimate claim

Protecting Your Claim When Talking to the Insurance Company

You do not need to have a long conversation about the crash. If you just want to file a claim you can provide the date, time and location of the crash and say you have or are seeking treatment for your injuries. You could also tell the insurance company where your car has been taken. You do not need to discuss anything else and there is no obligation to allow a recording of the conversation.

Getting into a long conversation about the crash plays right into the insurance company’s hands. Insurance company representatives may seem friendly and helpful, but your best interests are not theirs.

Discussing the severity of your injuries may seem harmless, but the insurance company will try to use statements about the seriousness of your injuries against you. Crash victims tend to downplay the severity of their injuries, which can hurt a claim for compensation. If you say, “I’m OK,” or “It is not that bad,” or “I am sure it will go away”, the insurance company may use those statements as a basis to deny your claim or later make a lowball offer.

You may think you know exactly what happened in the crash, but you may have some details wrong. It is human nature to be stressed and mix up or forget key details. Statements you make right after the crash may be contradicted by statements you make later in the claim process or by the police report

No matter what the insurance company tells you, you do not need to settle the claim right away. You do not need to accept the first offer the insurance company makes – this is never the final offer they will make. They are trained to use subtle, and sometimes not subtle, pressure to make victims think they must quickly settle or “lose out.” Some will even threaten the offer will disappear if you call a lawyer or suggest the “lawyer will take some of the settlement so why pay them for the getting the same offer.”

Pros of Talking to a Lawyer First

Despite what the insurance company may tell you, you have the right to talk to a lawyer and you will not be hurting your case. In fact, instead of talking to the insurance company about the crash, you could simply refer them to your lawyer.

The main thing to remember about a lawyer is that he or she will be committed to your best interests. Your attorney’s goal is to secure maximum compensation for your damages, which is also your goal. Compare this to the insurance company, which is looking for a way to deny or underpay your claim.  Claimants with attorneys get more compensation offered. Even after paying the attorney fee, you end up with more.  There is usually no fee for property damage, undisputed medical bills or wage loss so the insurance is lying by suggesting you would get less if you hire an attorney. The opposite is true. You get more, do not have to deal with the insurance and the paperwork will be done correctly.

Attorney-Client Privilege

Once you hire an attorney, your conversations are protected by attorney-client privilege. That means the things you discuss cannot be disclosed to the insurance company and potentially used against you. For example, you may be concerned about how your preexisting medical issues may affect your claim, and you can have a private conversation about this with your attorney. You can also discuss concerns you may have about being partially at-fault for the crash.

Your Lawyer is Committed to Your Best Interests

By calling a lawyer first, you can get an objective opinion about whether you may have a valid case. Attorneys are unlikely to recommend filing a claim unless they think there is a case, and they are likely to obtain compensation. Injury attorneys, like those at TSR Injury law, do not get paid unless their clients get paid.

Injured in a Car Crash? TSR Injury Law is Here to Help

Have questions about what to do after a crash? Unsure about your options for pursuing compensation?

It is often in the best interest of a car crash victim to seek legal help from an experienced attorney. At TSR Injury Law, we have been helping car crash victims for over 25 years and have secured millions in compensation on their behalf.

An initial consultation with a licensed Minneapolis auto accident attorney is free. There are also no upfront fees for our services.

Learn more. Call today for legal assistance. (612) TSR-TIME

What Injury Victims Need to Know About Including PTSD in a Claim for Compensation

ptsd on page in bookPersonal injury crashes can be scary experiences that leave victims emotionally scarred. In some cases, victims develop post-traumatic stress disorder, which can seriously interfere with their life.

Some people who suffer from PTSD have flashbacks in which they relive the crash. Others suffer from nightmares or mood swings. Certain things they hear or see can trigger a flood of emotions. For example, car crash victims who see the same type of car that crashed into theirs may have panic attacks. They may avoid the stretch of road where their crash happened.

If you or a loved one are suffering from PTSD after an accident caused by another’s negligence, give TSR Injury Law a call to discuss possible legal options. Our experienced Bloomington personal injury attorneys may be able to help you seek compensation for the cost of counseling and other medical interventions.

An initial consultation to discuss legal options is free and comes with no obligation to hire our services.

How is PTSD Diagnosed?

People may develop symptoms of PTSD after an event that involves an actual or possible threat of death, serious injury or violence. While many people with PTSD directly experienced the event, people who witnessed an event happening to others may also develop PTSD.

First responders may develop PTSD because they are repeatedly exposed to traumatic events. You could even develop PTSD from learning someone close to you was involved in a traumatic event.

The first thing doctors will do if you are experiencing symptoms of PTSD is perform a physical exam. It is possible there is an underlying medical problem causing PTSD symptoms. If there is no underlying physical cause, doctors may recommend a psychological evaluation, in which you discuss your symptoms and the traumatic event they may be related to.

Doctors use criteria from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) to determine if someone is suffering from PTSD.

Without a diagnosis from a licensed medical professional, there is basically no chance of recovering compensation for it. Even if doctors diagnose you and say your symptoms are related to the accident, the insurance company may try to claim otherwise. PTSD cannot be seen like a broken bone.  Proving it is harder than a normal injury.  It is even more difficult if there is a significant gap in time between the crash and when you sought treatment or were diagnosed.

Make sure to seek medical treatment as soon as possible and inform your doctor if you begin experiencing PTSD symptoms. You want to take practical steps of healing and at the same time creating a strong link between the crash and your psychological issues.

You should discuss things with a licensed attorney, as he or she should be able to advise you on how to document your symptoms and how they affect you every day. This can be an essential part of building a strong case for the full value of your damages.

For example, your attorney may recommend keeping a daily or weekly journal documenting how PTSD symptoms are affecting your life. He or she can explain how to make sure these notes are protected by attorney-client privilege.

Common Symptoms of PTSD

There are various symptoms that may indicate PTSD caused by an injury accident. One of the symptoms people often think of is flashbacks. A flashback occurs when the victim relives the traumatic event in his or her mind or through nightmares.

Flashbacks could be triggered by things that remind the victim of the accident, such as similar situations, visual or auditory cues, or hearing someone else describe a situation like theirs. When a flashback is happening, the victim may feel like the trauma is happening all over again.

Other symptoms of PTSD may include:

Trouble Controlling Emotions

Victims may go into a panic when they are reminded of the trauma. They may be increasingly irritable or aggressive. They get upset easily or are easily startled. This emotional instability may lead to victims being extremely alert or hypervigilant for things that might trigger their anxiety.

Being Antisocial

Victims may feel the best way to avoid emotional pain, flashbacks or other symptoms is to simply stay away from other people and isolate themselves. While this may seem extreme, it may seem acceptable to those with PTSD because it is so difficult to deal with PTSD symptoms. Staying away from other people may offer them some amount of peace.


Antisocial behavior could be categorized under avoidance. This refers to avoiding emotions because they are too painful. For example, victims may begin feeling emotionally or physically numb. Victims may feel like they are unable to express affection. They may self-medicate with alcohol or other drugs.

Victims often feel like they must stay busy to avoid the possibility of triggering their PTSD. They may even be self-destructive or reckless to avoid their PTSD.

Make sure to inform your doctors about the symptoms you are experiencing so they can properly treat you and also document them. This can go a long way toward healing your mind, validating your claim and clarifying the value of your damages.

Treatment for PTSD

PTSD is primarily treated through psychotherapy, with the goal of teaching victims healthy ways to manage symptoms and changing their perceptions of themselves and their world. Your doctor may also seek to treat problems associated with your PTSD, such as depression, anxiety, or alcohol or drug abuse. Sometimes doctors may want to use medication to treat these things, in addition to counseling sessions with a licensed therapist.

There are different types of psychotherapy, including cognitive therapy and exposure therapy. The purpose of cognitive therapy is to help you recognize negative thoughts or patterns of thinking that make PTSD worse.

Exposure therapy involves victims facing situations and memories that scare them. The goal is to help victims learn to cope with these things. Exposure therapy is often used on victims who are dealing with flashbacks and nightmares.

Treatment may last months or longer, which means it can be quite expensive. However, you may be able to claim copays, medication and other treatment costs in your bodily injury claim. It is important to carefully document all the expenses related to your treatment so you can claim them.

The experienced attorneys at TSR Injury Law have helped many victims calculate the cost of ongoing treatment and other ongoing expenses. We are prepared to consult medical experts to evaluate your situation.

Schedule a Free Consultation with TSR Injury Law Today

Our firm is here to answer your legal questions and guide you through the legal process, pursuing maximum compensation for damages. You should strongly consider giving our firm a call to schedule a free legal consultation to learn more about how we may be able to help you.

For more than 20 years, we have been helping injury victims in Minnesota and have obtained millions on behalf of our clients. There are no upfront fees and no fees while we work on your case.

We are ready to take your call. TSR Injury Law: (612) TSR-TIME.

Am I Allowed to Switch Lawyers After Filing an Auto Accident Claim?

concerned woman looking at phoneOne of the main reasons car crash victims hire attorneys is so they can manage the legal process. That way, crash victims can focus on their treatment and know their claims are being managed properly.

The last thing victims want is to feel like their lawyer is not doing a good job. Not only does this raise questions about whether they will receive compensation, it may also cause victims to think about changing attorneys.

Below, our licensed Bloomington auto accident lawyers discuss switching lawyers in the middle of a claim. If you have questions about seeking compensation for a car crash injury, give our firm a call to schedule a free legal consultation. Our firm has obtained over $1 billion in compensation on behalf of our clients.

Free Case Review 24/7. Ph: (612) TSR-TIME.

Is it Too Late to Make a Switch?

This is an important question to consider if you are unhappy with your attorney. If a lawsuit has been filed, it may be next to impossible to get another lawyer to agree to take on your case. In fact, the judge in the case may not allow it.

Even if a lawsuit has not been filed, it may be difficult to make a change in the middle of settlement negotiations with the insurance company. Injury attorneys are not paid by the hour. They receive a percentage of the end result settlement or jury verdict.  They also recover fronted costs to pursue the case. If another lawyer has been working on your case and is fired, he or she is still entitled to recoup for their time and expenses fronted. The fired attorney will file a lien with the involved insurance companies and their name may be added to any checks that are sent after settlement.

Wrapping up a case is often the hardest part. A new lawyer has to take over the case, often fix errors or redirect the case to a more positive direction. The new attorney may not want to assume the risk and work of a new case and have to repay the first attorney for their time and expenses. More work and less pay is often not enticing for any professional.

As a general rule, the less time the prior attorney has worked on the case, the easier it is to switch.  If you are unsure if it may be too late to make a switch, you can reach out to another attorney you are considering and schedule a free consultation. Most personal injury law firms offer a free initial consultation to answer questions about taking legal action, including our law firm.

Do You Have a Good Reason for Making a Change?

Before making a change, you should review why you want to change lawyers. Injury victims often have many misconceptions about the legal process, and they are often anxious to recover compensation because of mounting medical bills or missed time at work.

Concerns About Delays

If you want to make a change because you think things are taking too long, that may not be true. Typically, claims are not settled until the victim has healed or reached maximum medical improvement. That could take several months or even years.

Delays are not always the fault of the attorney. Insurance companies are notorious for dragging their feet and making lowball offers. Insurance companies want to give attorneys and the victims they represent as little time as possible to file a lawsuit before the statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit runs out.

If you have concerns about how long it is taking, call your attorney to ask for an update. Your attorney should get back to you promptly and give you a detailed update. Experienced attorneys should understand concerns like these and be able to reassure their clients.

Talking to Your Lawyers

One of the biggest complaints from clients is their attorneys do not respond to calls or emails.  If you are unhappy or have questions, reach out to your attorney.  Give them a reasonable amount of time to respond.  If despite your best effort to get answers, there is no response, then you might want to consider making a change.

Another complaint is when attorneys miss deadlines or constantly ask the insurance company for more time.  This may indicate the attorney lacks experience or has taken on more cases than he or she can handle.

You should be able to trust your attorney and be able to communicate with him or her on a regular basis. Your lawyer should be interested in explaining things to you to help give you peace of mind.

The attorneys at TSR Injury Law are committed to answering your questions from the first day we represent you until the resolution of your case. We use teams of attorneys, secretaries and paralegals to always work on your case and communicate and respond to questions. The attorneys give out their cellphones and will always text, email or call back in a reasonable time. We believe in building strong relationships with clients because this is a difficult time in their life.

Lack of Relevant Experience

Another good reason for making a change is if you find out the attorney has not managed cases like yours before. This is something to research before hiring an attorney. If your attorney does not have much experience with car crash cases, or with injury cases like yours, he or she may be less likely to build a strong case or be able to recover maximum compensation.

Lack of Courtroom Experience

It is also important to have an attorney who regularly takes cases to court. It is unlikely you will need to go to court because most cases settle. However, insurance companies know the attorneys who rarely go to court. Insurers may not feel the need to make a better settlement offer to these attorneys because insurance companies do not think there is much of a chance of a lawsuit being filed.  Without the fear of a potential jury verdict, there is no pressure to make the best most fair offer.

Call TSR Injury Law to Discuss Your Claim

Our firm works on contingency, which means our attorneys are not paid for their services unless our clients get paid. We do not charge fees up front before taking a case or working on a case. That means working with one of our licensed attorneys comes with no risk.

If you have any questions about the crash or your insurance claim, give us a call. We have obtained tens of millions in compensation for our clients, many of whom were injured in motor vehicle crashes.

TSR Injury Law is here to help. Call (612) TSR-TIME to learn more.