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Do I Have to Report the Car Accident?

It happens when you least expect it. You may be driving to or from work. You may be coming home from the grocery store. You may be on a trip of some kind, and it happens. You have a car accident.

Reporting an accident

If there is minor damage to your car and no apparent injuries, an important question that you may have is, “Do I have to report the car accident?” Another question is, “If I report the car accident, what is it going to do to my car insurance premium? How much will it cause it to go up?”

There is not a simple answer to the question, “Do I have to report the car accident?” This is because there are several things to take into consideration that will determine the answer to this question.

Is your car accident a one car accident? Was no other car involved in the accident? If so, and there was no damage done to any public or private property, you do not have to report the accident to the police.

Let your insurance company know

However, you should report the accident to your insurance company. This is true even if you are planning on not filing an insurance claim and handling the repair costs yourself.

The reason for this is because an accident, no matter how slight, can damage the value of your car and your car insurance policy needs to be adjusted in accordance with this. Also, if your insurance company finds out about your car accident, and you did not report it; they can cancel your policy.

Another important question is, "Did your car accident involve another car?" In this case, if there are no apparent injuries or public or private property damage, you do not have to report the car accident to the police. However, you should file a state vehicle accident report, which you can get at a police station or you may find on the Department of Motor Vehicles website. This report may help the insurance companies accelerate the claims process.

When another car is involved

When the car accident involves another car and the other driver believes that he is to blame for the accident, he may offer to pay the damages to your car to keep from involving an insurance company. This can be dangerous.

When you present the other driver with the repair bill, he may decide it is too high and refuse to pay it. At this point, time has passed since the car accident, and your insurance company may have trouble getting evidence related to the car accident if you decide to file a claim.

You also do not know if the other driver will have a change of heart and decide to report the accident to his insurance company. He may have now come to believe that the car accident was your fault. He may now say that he has injuries he did not realize that he had at the time of the accident. Your insurance company may wind up paying him a large settlement. You could even have a lawsuit filed against you.

If you were involved in a car accident and did not report it, you may need the help and advice of a personal injury lawyer. The personal injury lawyers here will be on your side and fight for you.

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