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Do Minor Car Accidents Need to be Reported in Monterey?

Do Minor Car Accidents Need to be Reported in Monterey?

Posted By The Dunnion Law Firm || 24-Nov-2016

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.

  1. You want to work things out with the other party without having to involve insurance companies.

  2. 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!
Categories: Auto Accident