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How Do Police Notify Family of an Accident?

How Do Police Notify Family of an Accident?

If someone you love was in an accident, how would you know? It’s fairly normal to worry about loved ones when you haven’t heard from them. When your calls go unanswered, you may assume the worst.

The police will notify you if your loved one has been in an accident. Similarly, if you were in a serious crash, the police would find a way to contact your family. However, if you’re worried about a loved one, you can contact area hospitals, look for a car accident report, or call other contacts to see if they have heard from them.

Finding Out About an Accident in the Family

One of the biggest challenges when someone is in a tragic accident is that there is no central database that can pull up this information. This doesn’t mean you won’t be able to find anything out. Here is what you can do if you’re worried about a loved one who may have been in a bad accident.

Call Nearby Hospitals

While HIPAA rules won’t allow medical providers to tell you much, you can call local hospitals. If your loved one is there, they will let you know. Rest assured that if you are the one involved in a catastrophic accident, they will inform your family if they call the hospital.

Check with the Police

Both state and local law enforcement agencies may be able to help provide basic information about an accident. Call your local police department and ask if your loved one is on the crash report list. However, it does take time before names are entered into this system, which means they may not have that information for you yet.

Call Other Contacts

You may be able to find out if a loved one was in an accident by reaching out to other friends and family members. Often, this is how many people find out that they worried for nothing and that everyone is safe and sound.

When the Police Reach Out After an Accident

After a bad accident, police have many tasks to complete before notifying family members about the crash. They will be filing the accident report and making sure those with serious injuries are transported to the nearest hospital. 

When someone is severely injured or there is a fatality, it may take time for the police to identify them. They may locate a purse or wallet and find their driver’s license. They may need help getting into the victim’s phone to find the names of family who they can contact with the news.

Since this news is upsetting, police notify family members in person. If a police officer knocks on your door and you have not called them or been in trouble with the law, it is highly likely they are coming to let you know about a serious accident involving a loved one.

What to Do If a Loved One Was Injured in a Car Crash

In the event that the police come to your home to inform you about an accident involving a loved one, you are not powerless. There are a few things you can do to help protect their health and legal rights.

Advocate for Their Medical Care

The top priority after an accident is to get immediate medical care. Once you have been notified, go to the hospital and learn more about their condition and expected recovery.

Find Out Their Story

If your loved one is awake, grab a notebook and pen or make an audio recording of what they remember in the moments before and after the crash. This information can be critical in determining what happened and who was at fault. For example, if they tell you they had the green light and were traveling through the intersection when they were hit, it indicates the other driver was at fault.

Contact an Accident Attorney

Accident lawyers understand serious injuries that occur in car accidents. They will be able to review the case and take action to help recover compensation for their medical bills and other expenses. In the event that your loved one does not survive this crash, an attorney is instrumental in helping you file a wrongful death lawsuit to bring justice after this tragedy.

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