In most cases, drivers who get into a car accident make it a point to try and avoid contacting the authorities because of the additional amount of work which this generally entails. However, in certain cases it is obvious that the authorities need to be contacted and a person may even face legal consequences for failing to report their accident.
In most states, it is required by law for a driver to report their collision if the damages caused cost $750 or above to repair. This means that accidents involving larger vehicles nearly always have to be reported. It is also necessary to report the accident if injuries were caused due to the accident. When a person gets into a minor accident, they may be tempted to refrain from reporting it because they do not want to deal with all the time-consuming paperwork.
The reality, however, is that it is always safer and wiser to report an accident to the relevant authorities no matter how small it may be. Before filing the report, a person should contact an accident attorney to make sure they include all the necessary facts, and to ensure they do not end up including excess information in the report which could later on be used against them if matters somehow end up escalating.
The reason why it is safer to file a report even if there is no obvious harm done to a person or their vehicle, is that the driver may notice later on how much pain they are in or their vehicle may stop working shortly thereafter due to internal damage caused by the impact. These damages may appear later, but they are equally as expensive to rectify as any other damage which occurs at the time of collision.
How much time do I have to report my car accident?
Every state has their statute of limitations which mandates how much time a person must report their accident and injuries. Depending on the state a person resides in they generally have around 2-5 years to make claims for their property damage or any personal injuries which they faced. It is important to note that both state laws and insurance policies should be examined when looking into how much time a person has to request settlement.
Insurance companies generally require a person to make their claim as soon as possible for them to be eligible for their full amount of compensation. The best time to report an accident though, is as soon as possible. With the help of a legal representative a person should file a police report and inform their insurer about the damages they endured. Having an attorney’s expertise is highly recommended when communicating with one’s insurance company because of the likelihood that one’s insurer will probably try to offer a much lower initial settlement amount then what a person deserves. Both the insurer and the insurance holder are expected to behave in good faith towards each other and not take advantage of the situation. If an insurer fails to hold to their policies, an attorney can negotiate with them until a reasonable amount of compensation is finally agreed on.