Do I Have to Report a Minor Car Accident?
Driving is such a common activity for most of us that we really don’t spend much time thinking about the potential dangers; what happens if I am involved in a car accident? Thankfully, most crashes are relatively inconsequential and do not involve injury to a driver or passenger. However, that begs the question; if the accident is minor, do I really need to involve the police or my insurance company? Can’t I just handle it on my own? Should I contact my auto accident lawyers in Boca Raton?
Contacting the Police
Typically, there is no legal requirement to file a police report unless there is some physical injury to one or more of the parties involved in the accident, or there is property damage above a certain dollar threshold, which may be different depending on the particular state where the accident occurred. A few issues, however, to keep in mind:
- Some injuries are latent and do not appear immediately, and what may seem to be a non-injury accident is not.
- Assessing the cost to repair the damage from even a minor crash can be difficult; the total adds up quickly.
- All states have laws regarding leaving the scene of an accident. At the very least you must exchange information with the other driver, but make certain the circumstances do not require more.
Contacting the DMV
Most states have similar requirements for reporting an accident to the DMV as for filing a police report; that is, bodily injury or death and a property damage threshold. If a police report was filed, the police will inform the DMV.
Contacting your Insurance Company
The contractual language of almost every auto insurance policy requires you, as the driver, to report any and all accidents to your insurer. No matter what, you should contact your Boca Raton accident attorneys first for guidance. As a practical matter, however, there is not much chance your insurance company will find out if you don’t. Even if the police responded to the scene and filed a report, law enforcement does not inform insurance carriers as part of its regular protocol. However, if you were cited for a traffic infraction at the scene, your insurance company will likely learn of this, which may trigger an investigation and uncover the accident. Always call your injury lawyers at Shiner Law Group at 561-777-7700 for help in these situations.
Contacting your Accident Attorneys at Shiner Law Group is crucial to any car crash
Even if the circumstances are such that you will not suffer any negative consequences from the police, DMV or your insurance company, you probably want to have your car repaired. If the other driver was clearly at fault and offers to pay for your damages out of his or her own pocket, you should be wary. If the other party doesn’t pay, you have a problem. No one wants to see his or her insurance premium go up, but trying to avoid that consequence can expose you to greater harm.
In short, whether you have to report a minor car accident is dependent on the facts and circumstances of your situation. There are potentially negative consequences that must be weighed under a risk-reward analysis. The best way to protect yourself if you have been involved in a minor car accident is to speak with our experienced car accident attorneys at 561-777-7700, who can help you determine if it’s necessary and how best to file a claim with your insurer carrier.