Do I Need to Report My Minor Accident?

Monday, October 12th, 2015

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Tacoma Personal Injury AttorneyIf you have been injured in an accident, contact your Tacoma personal injury attorney for assistance. You may be entitled to compensation depending on the damages or injuries that you sustained during the accident. Car accidents are a common occurrence. In most cases, the accidents are usually minor fender-bender accidents where there are minimal injuries to the victims. Most of the time these accidents happen in parking lot, at stop signs, or stop lights. Its possible that the driver misjudged the distance between themselves and the other car. Often these fender benders results in dented bumpers or damage to the paint. You may be wondering if you need to report these types of accidents or contact your Tacoma personal injury attorney in these situations. The following information from your Tacoma personal injury attorney discusses what you should do in these situations. If you have any further questions, you should contact your Tacoma personal injury attorney for a consultation.

Is it Necessary to Report Your Accident?

The answer to this question is not a simple yes or no. The answer will depend on what state you live in, as well as the circumstances behind your accident. If your accident involves any injuries, most states require that you report the accident. Many states also require a report to be filed if there are damages over a certain amount, usually around $1,000 or $2,000. If you are involved in any type of accident, you will need to be sure to collect information from the other driver. You will want to exchange insurance information with the other driver, as well as their name and contact information. It is a requirement in every state to exchange this information with a driver whom you have collided with. If the other driver refuses to exchange information, or if you suspect that the other driver may not have valid insurance, then you will want to get local law enforcement officers involved to help you obtain this information from the other driver. The law enforcement agency that you will need to contact could be the local police department, the sheriff’s department, or the highway patrol. Even if you find that the other driver has been nothing but cooperative, you may still want to get law enforcement involved. Even though the situation has been civil, there may still be a dispute between you and the other driver over who was at-fault for the accident. Getting a law enforcement officer could help to settle the dispute. The officer who is sent out to investigate will speak with both drivers, any witnesses, and also record any physical evidence at the site of the crash including skid marks or debris from the accident. Another reason it is important to contact law enforcement after an accident is in case you were injured. While in some cases it could take a few days before your injuries are apparent, it is important to have the accident put on record. If you find days later that you are injured and try to seek compensation for the damages, the other driver could claim that there never was an accident in the first place. Having your accident on record could help you to file a claim against the other driver for your injuries.

Involving Your Insurance Company

In an accident, many drivers will do what they can to avoid reporting it to their insurance company. They typically avoid it for two main reasons:

  • the driver believes that the incident can be worked out without involving their insurance company
  • the driver is afraid that reporting the accident will raise their insurance rates

Reporting any type of accident you are in to your insurance company is extremely important. In fact, if you do not report your accident then you could face penalties down the road. If you fail to report the accident and try to work things out with the other driver, it could end up costing you more if the other driver claims injuries later on. The only time an accident is not required to be reported is if it involves your vehicles and takes place on your property. In this case, there must be no injuries and any property damaged must belong to you. Examples of this can include backing into your garage door, hitting a fence on your property, or scraped into a pole. In these types of situations there will be no one to dispute the damages with. There will be no arguments about who is at-fault for the accident. There will also not be a dispute over what the cost of repairs will be.

Consult with a Tacoma Personal Injury Attorney

Having an experienced Tacoma personal injury attorney by your side can help you through the complicated process of a personal injury lawsuit. An experienced personal injury attorney will be dedicated to helping you and your case. Greene & Lloyd, PLLC knows the Tacoma personal injury attorney who will help you fight for what you deserve in your personal injury claim. Call 253-770-0808 today.


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