Do Minor Car Accidents Need to Be Reported?
The answer to this question varies depending upon the precise circumstances, but generally speaking, it’s usually beneficial to report the accident to the police department. If you plan on making an insurance claim, you will also need to report the collision to your insurance company. If the damage is minor and there are no injuries involved, it’s not uncommon for the drivers to pay for the repairs out of pocket instead of going through insurance.
A Look at When It’s Beneficial to Report a Minor Car Accident
Palm Harbor area drivers may opt to report the accident if they’ve been involved in a minor car accident that has occurred in a dangerous location. Following the crash, you will need to pull over and speak with the other driver to exchange your name, contact information, license number and insurance information. (If you fail to do this, it would be considered a hit and run, which is an illegal offense.) But in some cases, the location of the accident may make it impossible to do this safely without a police officer on-hand to help direct traffic around the crash site.
You should also make note of the other driver’s license plate number and the make/model of their vehicle.
It’s also important to remember that even a minor car accident can lead to some potentially serious injuries and what initially seems like a minor injury could prove to be something far more serious. The same can be true of the damage to your vehicle. In this sort of situation, you may need to work with the other party’s insurance company in an attempt to get compensation. The case may even result in a personal injury lawsuit.
But things can get tricky if there is any sort of discrepancy over what occurred at the crash scene and what degree of fault is attributed to each party. For this reason, it’s usually wise to contact the police department to report the accident. Ideally, a police officer will be dispatched to the scene to investigate and document the accident. This objective, third-party account of the accident can work to your favor if you need to seek out compensation, particularly if there is a discrepancy between your version of events and the other driver’s version of events.
Of course, the police department may not necessarily have an officer available to respond to the scene of a minor accident. In these cases, you may still wish to file an accident report with the police department. This may be required if you plan to file a claim with insurance and/or file a legal claim. It’s also wise to photograph the accident scene with the vehicles in situ (before they are moved). Remember to photograph from several angles and be sure to photograph any skid marks.
In most cases, you only stand to benefit from reporting the accident. If you are uncertain of how to proceed, you may wish to consult with a Palm Harbor car accident attorney. The personal injury lawyers of Jeffrey W. Hensley, P.A. are available to assist if you’ve been injured in an accident. Contact the personal injury law firm of Jeffrey W. Hensley, P.A. by calling 727-781-3433.