Let’s say you’re in a fender bender and looking at your bumper, there’s hardly a scuff on it. The other driver isn’t injured and doesn’t seem phased by the damage. Before you both agree to go your separate ways and decide not to report to the police, consider the following reasons as to why you should probably start collecting evidence and report the accident anyway.
If you are injured in an accident, most states will require that you report the accident. In addition, states also require you report accidents with damages that exceed a certain amount. If these conditions are met, the most important information you’ll need to collect for your report are the other driver’s insurance and contact information. Sometimes the other driver will be cordial and willing to share their information as well as discuss what happened in the accident. At other times, however, the other driver may be unwilling to share their information. It is required in all states that drivers exchange contact and insurance information when they’ve been involved in a car accident. If the other driver is being uncooperative, you should go ahead and contact law enforcement.
A reporting officer at the scene of the accident could help file a report for both drivers. They could also record interviews with drivers and any witnesses that saw the accident occur. If you were injured in the accident, an officer can also record your immediate injuries. Keep in mind that some injuries, however, may take a few days to manifest. Having an officer record when the accident happened will help convince the court that your injuries, while not immediately apparent, were a result of the accident. It’s better to have a police officer report than just your word backing up your claims.
If you decide to not let your insurance company know about a minor accident, you’ll be opening yourself up to penalties from your insurance company. Every vehicle insurance policy requires that any accident be reported to the insurance company, no matter how minor. While you might trust the other party not to withhold information from their insurance company, it’s possible for the other driver to file a claim later and your insurance company could deny you certain protections against the claim.
If you’ve been in a car accident, remember to report the accident to your insurance company and consider hiring a car accident attorney. James W. Sutton, Attorney at Law has offered his legal guidance to injured car accident victims and helped them get the compensation they deserved. Contact us to schedule a free consultation.