If you are involved in a car accident in California, are you required to report it to the police? Many people assume that you always need to call the police. The truth is that you are not required by law to report the accident unless there is an injury or there is upwards of $1,000 in property damage.
However, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t call the police if neither of those two factors are true. In many cases, it’s worth your while to report the car accident anyway. Keep reading to find out why that may be the case. If you believe that you may have an injury that may require you to file a personal injury lawsuit then we encourage you to contact The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 800-333-0000 for a free legal consultation.
The three situations in which you definitely need to call the police
If any of these three things is true then you should absolutely call the police:
- Someone was injured.
- Someone died.
- There was property damage of $1,000 or more.
If any of those are true then you have ten days to report the accident. You’ll use an SR-1 form that will request information such as the names, addresses, and insurance info for all involved parties, specifics about when, where, and how the accident happened, descriptions of the injuries and / or any property damage. If you are in an accident and aren’t 100% sure if you should file an SR-1 then we recommend erring on the side of caution and filing it.
Potential consequences for not reporting a car accident
If you don’t report an accident within ten days, and it’s one of the three types of accidents described above, then you could end up with huge fines and even a license suspension. If you were injured and you didn’t report the accident, then you may not be eligible to file a personal injury claim and your insurance company may not cover you either.
Reasons you may want to report an accident even when not required to
In an accident that doesn’t require you to file, you may want to do so anyway. Let’s say that you get into an accident with a motorcycle today and you feel fine. Then two weeks later you start to have pain in your shoulder. You go to the doctor and find out that the pain is related to your accident. If you didn’t report the accident then you are likely left without recourse from your insurance company and will have a hard time filing a personal injury claim.
If you have been involved in an accident and aren’t sure what to do next, then we recommend contacting The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 800-333-0000 right away. We are here to offer a free legal consultation and to make sure you don’t make what could turn out to be an expensive mistake.