The majority of car accidents are seemingly minor “fender benders,”
where it might seem like more trouble than it's worth to report the
accident to the police or even to your insurance company. Coming to an
understanding with the other party involved in the car accident and leaving
the scene report-free can seem like the simpler, more amiable option.
However, thanks to adrenaline and a host of other factors, someone could
have actually been injured at the accident and not realize it until much later.
If this sounds familiar and symptoms of your injury arose after you left
the scene of the accident, contact a Monterey personal injury lawyer at
Dunnion Law Firm for assistance and representation.
Reporting the Car Accident to Law Enforcement
Generally speaking, it is a good idea to notify law enforcement whenever
you get into an accident involving another person or their property. It's
not always up to you, though, whether or not you should report a car accident
to law enforcement. In many states, if you get into a car accident with
another party and someone's property damage is over a certain amount,
you are legally required to report the accident to local authorities.
The amount varies by state, but it's typically within the $1,000-$2,500 range.
Exchange Contact Information
Even if this amount does not apply to your situation, or if your state
does not have this requirement, every state at least requires that you
exchange contact and insurance information with the other party. If you
find yourself in a minor accident like this, but the other party is not
cooperating with exchanging contact information, that could be a good
cue to notify the authorities. They are easily able to get this kind of
personal information, and their presence can deter any suspicious activity.
Get an Official Statement
In situations like this where the other party is being cooperative, but
you're having a cordial dispute about the circumstances surrounding
the accident, calling the authorities is also a good idea. They are trained
in assessing and recording evidence from car accidents, so they can provide
objective expertise on the cause of the accident.
Reporting a car accident to law enforcement can also help you shortly down
the road if it turns out that someone is claiming that they were injured
in the accident. Without the authorities' written record of what happened
at the scene of the accident, it's your word against the other party's.
Their statement can offer your support whether you're the one claiming
the injury or defending yourself against someone claiming you injured them.
Reporting the Car Accident to Your Insurance Company
People involved in minor car accidents many times do not want to report
the collision to their insurance company for two reasons.
You want to work things out with the other party without having to involve
You might assume your insurance rates will increase after you've been
in a collision.
Every driver needs to know that it is required to report any accident to
your car insurance company. The only exception is if the accident occurs
on your property and involves only your property, such as in the case
of backing into your mailbox or bumped into your garage door.
Contact a Monterey Personal Injury Lawyer
All other accidents, however, need to be reported to your car insurance
provider, especially if the accident involves another person. This is
both for your safety and your financial security to avoid penalty fees
later on or in case the agreement with the other party falls through.
If you've found yourself in a similar situation and may have sustained
an injury from a car accident, enlist the services of a Monterey personal
injury lawyer at
The Dunnion Law Firm. Contact us, today!