Failing To Report An Accident To The Police Or The Dmv Can Lead To Penalties
You may face civil and/or criminal penalties if you fail to report an accident as required by law. While the most likely penalty is a fine, you can also potentially face up to 15 days in jail.
If you fail to report your accident to the DMV, this could result in a drivers license suspension plus the costs of having your drivers license reinstated.
Should You Call The Police After A Car Accident
Whether an accident is minor or major, it is vital to call the police. The police will come to the accident scene and write a report about the accident. Ensure you get a copy of the police report, as it is essential when filing an insurance claim.
If the police do not respond and come to the scene, you can go to the nearest police station to report the car accident. Before going to the police station, be sure you ask for the other drivers details such as license plate number, contact details, insurance details, and driving license number. This information will be required by the police when filing the report. Remember to always ask for a copy of the police report.
When It Is A Good Idea To Notify The Police
Even when a car accident in Georgia seems minor, such as in the case of a rear-end crash at slow speeds, it is still a good idea to call the police. This is because many times, injuries from a car accident in Georgia, such as whiplash, may not be immediately evident. In addition, it is hard to assign a dollar amount to vehicle damage without getting an official estimate, so it is better to have a report.
The police report will be essential documentation of when and where the accident happened. Otherwise, the insurance company might refuse to pay for your car repairs or medical bills, claiming that the property damage and injuries occurred elsewhere.
The at-fault driver might try to lie his way out of liability for the crash if you do not protect yourself and your claim by calling the police to document what caused the wreck. The police report will provide a link between the accident and your injuries. Your lawyer will gather the report and your medical records to build your case for compensation.
Note: If you did not call police to the scene, you can file your own accident report.
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Should I Call The Police After An Accident
Anyone that has ever been in a car accident understands the amount of stress involved. As hard as it may be, it is important to remain calm after an accident. Once an accident occurs, most people instinctively begin to dial 911. However, there is some debate as to whether or not injured motorists should call police following a car crash.
Getting police involved in a car accident may seem trivial to some, especially if the accident is a minor one. However, regardless of whether or not there were injuries, police should always be contacted. When police arrive to the scene of an accident, they typically conduct a detailed field investigation. Based on their findings, police will generate a crash report, which objectively documents any injuries and who may be liable for the crash. These reports play a very important role in establishing the groundwork for an injured partyâs personal injury claim.
According to statistical data that is released by Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, there have been 254,454 crashes in 2014. Of those crashes, 167,607 people were injured with 1,806 fatalities. These numbers are alarming, especially since we have almost three months left in the year. Based on these statistics, it is clear that car accidents occur quite often, leaving many people left injured. Thus, it is imperative that parties report their accidents to police in order for them to conduct a formal investigation of the car crash.
Is It Illegal To Not Report An Accident
In some cases, yes. If you are involved in a car accident, no matter who was at fault, and the accident results in injury or death, you are required by California law to report the accident within 24 hours. The Department of Motor Vehicles requires that a report be filed within 10 days, if the accident involved injury, death or more than $1,000 in property damage.
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What Needs To Happen At The Scene Of The Crash
While the law specifically states that accidents that involve injury or death must be reported within 24 hours, the reality is that somebody involved in a crash should call the police immediately, regardless of how major or minor the incident is. When the police come to the scene of the crash, the officer can:
- Provide for or call EMS if this has not already been done.
- Protect the accident scene.
- Investigate and document the causes of the crash.
- Determine liability for the incident.
- Resolve any disputes with the other driver.
- Obtain all driver contact information.
When a police officer comes to the scene of a crash, they will prepare a written report of the accident on behalf of the agency, which means that you will not have to provide your own separate accident report within 24 hours.
Who Should You Call After A Car Accident
- Auto Accidents
Motor vehicle accidents are often life-altering events. They can especially change the course of your health and finances. Furthermore, what you do after an auto crash can determine how much your life changes. For instance, who you call or dont call can have significant positive or adverse effects following the crash.
If youre ever in a car accident, itll be best to call the people this article recommends. Essentially, it would help if you called a . Even if you dont call the others on this list, a lawyer can advise and guide you on contacting the other parties.
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Should I Call The Police
You should absolutely call the police, whether the accident was a minor fender bender or a significant crash. If the accident wasnt your fault, having an official police report will help you hold the other driver accountable for damages and repair costs. Dont try to work out reparations with the other driver on your own, even if the other driver doesnt want to involve the police of insurance companies.
Its much safer for you to call the police, tell the responding officer the truth about what happened, and let the officer decide who is at fault in the official report. The at-fault driver will likely receive a citation.
Filing a police report will also help you handle an insurance claim. Your insurance company will want a copy of the report, and having one will speed up the claims process.
Dont Admit To Fault Or Apologize
After a car crash, stunned drivers sometimes pop out of their vehicle and say, Im so sorry! I didnt see you! or something similar. Even if you believe the accident to be your fault, you gain nothing by saying so at the time of the accident. Your lawyers and other investigators will examine all the facts surrounding the crash and determine who is responsible. You do, however, have a responsibility to clearly and honestly tell the police the events that led to the crash.
You Will Likely Need To Report The Accident To Your Insurance Company
Insurance companies typically require their policyholders to report all accidents regardless of severity and regardless of fault. If you fail to report an accident promptly, this could result in a denial of coverage.
Additionally, since New York is a no fault auto insurance state, you will need to report the accident to your insurer in order to seek coverage for your accident-related losses.
When Should I Contact Police After A Car Accident
If you were in a serious car accident where there were injuries, you should call the police as soon as you safely can or have someone call them for you. Ideally, the police should be at the scene to document injuries, interview the other driver, and get your statement. They will create a police report and possibly ticket the at-fault driver.
In minor car accidents, it is still a good idea to call the police. In instances where the damage is minor and there are no injuries, you may visit the police station in person with the damaged vehicle to make a report. If an unknown person damaged your car, there may be little the police can do. However, in the event they can find the responsible person, you can file a claim against their insurance company.
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If The Law Enforcement Agency Tells You To Just Exchange Information
If you do call the police, and they tell you to just exchange information with the other driver, what information should you exchange? At a minimum, make sure you get from the other driver — and that the other driver get from you — the following information:
- name of car insurance company
- policy number
- name, address and telephone number of insurance representative that you should contact about this accident, and
- license plate number .
Ask to see documents from which you can copy this information, such as a driver’s license and an insurance verification card. Why? Sometimes, people — such as drivers who don’t have car insurance — will give false information if you don’t verify what they are telling you. If they won’t verify their information, call the police and insist that the driver stay until the police arrive.
If you are suspicious about the information you are getting, call the other driver’s insurance company from the scene of the accident to verify for yourself that the other driver has given you accurate information. But only verify coverage. Don’t give accident details to the other driver’s insurance company. Not yet. You’ll do that later, after you’re away from the scene of your accident and have calmed down.
Why Is It Important To Call The Police After An Accident
If you dont report your car accident, you risk your insurance company denying coverage, and you risk not being able to file a claim for damages against another at-fault party without a police report. You have to report your car accident to both your insurance company and the police if you want to protect your rights to recover compensation.
Contact Our Lawyers For Help
If you were hurt in a car accident, you should always call the experienced attorneys of Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. at and schedule a free initial consultation. Whether or not you called 911 after the crash, we can help you navigate an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit for your injuries and property damage.
How Do You Know You Can Trust The Other Driver
Not calling the police is risky because there is no way you can know for sure if you should trust the other driver, particularly if he or she may have been at fault for the accident.
Even if you exchange information at the scene of an accident, there is no way for you to verify that the other drivers information is accurate. If he or she gave you false information, you may have no way of finding this person to try to hold him or her accountable.
Additionally, you will have no official record to support your claim if the other driver denies responsibility for the accident.
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Should I Call The Police After A Fender
A fender-bender is a minor accident that usually does not involve injuries. Sometimes, it doesnt even involve noticeable damage. So should you call the police? Our recommendation is yes. Even a minor accident can result in property damage and an insurance claim. It is best to call the police so there is documentation of what happened. Also, if another party involved gets antsy or aggressive, a police officer can diffuse and control the situation.
Sometimes with fender-benders, police may just tell you to exchange information, and may not write up a formal report. Depending on the situation, they may or may not issue a citation if someone was breaking the law. If you are told to exchange information, here is what you should obtain:
- Name, address, and phone number
- Name and phone number of their car insurance company
- Insurance policy number
Is There Considerable Damage
Whether or not you should call 911 and ask for the police depends on the amount of damage caused by the collision. If one or both of the vehicles are still drivable, you may not need to see the police right away. You can contact 911 to record the occurrence of the accident, yet tell them you do not need the police, or not call at all. Make sure to exchange insurance information and file a police report as soon as possible. If the vehicles are both seriously damaged and cannot be driven away, you should consider whether the accident blocks traffic or creates a danger to others.
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Can I File An Accident Report After The Fact
Yes, you can, though cities handle this differently. If you live in Columbus, you can find the accident reporting information here.
There is, however, a different set of rules that apply when you are in an accident with an uninsured driver. If this happens, you must submit a crash report to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles within six months of the accident occurring.
Is The Other Driver Being Cooperative
Immediately after a car accident, assuming no serious injuries, it is standard practice to speak with the other driver, make sure all parties are okay, and exchange contact information.
If the other driver refuses to give their name or contact information, and you have reason to believe they might not have a valid license or car insurance, immediately stop trying to deal with them and call the police.
A driver who is uncooperative at the scene of the accident is probably going to be even less cooperative in the days and weeks that follow when you are trying to coordinate with your insurance companies to collect payment for damages.
In situations like this, it is better to get the police involved from the beginning. That way, you get an official accident report to submit to the insurance companies and do not have to rely on the other drivers cooperation.
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What Is Included In Police Reports For Car Accidents
The information included in a police report for a car accident can vary based on the details of the accident, who filed the report, and where the report was filed. For example, a car accident police report at the scene will be different from the police report filed at a reporting centre.
The following information is typically included in a police accident report form :
- Report Number : The police accident report reference number will be indicated.
- Date and Location : The report will have the date and location details of the accident.
- Accident Details : Photos of damage, location of damage, type of accident
- Driver Information : Drivers license, insurance, ownership, contact information of all drivers involved.
- Vehicle Information : Make and model of vehicles involved in the accident.
- Statements : Statements of what witnesses and passengers saw.
- Driver Statement : A statement of the events that led to the car accident from the drivers perspective.
- Other Information : Any other information that may be relevant to the accident, such as road and weather conditions.
Call 911 & Get A Police Report
State laws require that you call the police if anyone is injured or if property damage exceeds a certain threshold. You may also need a police report when you file your insurance claim. If you need to, be politely persistent with the other driver and the police officer that you would like a written statement. Write down the following information:
- The officers name
- The officers badge number
- The officers phone number
- The police report number
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Your Insurance Company Might Require A Police Report
Read your car insurance policy carefully. If you need to rely on your own insurance to pay for accident damages or injuries, it may require a timely made police report in order to make a claim.
For these reasons, it is preferable to err on the side of calling the police even when it might not be necessary rather than not doing so to save time and finding out later that you should have called.
What Not To Do When Youre In An Auto Accident
Now that you know what to do after a minor car accident, and understand the importance of reporting an accident and how to file a motor vehicle accident report, here are some things NOT to do after an auto accident :
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