In the chaotic moments after an auto accident, you have a lot of decisions to make. Assessing yourself and others for any injuries should be your first priority, followed by gathering insurance and contact information from the other driver involved in the accident. While many people understand that reporting an auto accident is critical for serious injuries and property damage, some may think it unnecessary to report seemingly minor accidents. However, failing to report an auto accident in Riverside County can lead to several penalties. Here’s what California drivers need to know about the consequences of failing to report an auto accident.
When Are Auto Accidents Reportable in California?
There are circumstances in which you must report an auto accident in California. The California Vehicle Code specifies that any accident “that has resulted in damage to the property of any one person in excess of one thousand dollars, or in bodily injury, or in the death of any person” must be reported within 10 days after the accident. You can report the accident both to your insurance company and by filing an SR-1 form with the DMV. The DMV also states that you’ll need to file the SR-1 form in addition to other reports you file with the California Highway Patrol, local law enforcement agency, or insurance company.
Failing to Report an Auto Accident
If you fail to report an accident that involves property damage, injury, or death, you could face several penalties. Failing to file a report with the DMV within the ten-day period may result in the suspension of your driving privileges. Additionally, California law requires drivers to follow specific steps after an auto accident, such as stopping immediately and exchanging information with other parties. Failure to do so could result in misdemeanor charges, punishable by “imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding six months, or by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars, or by both imprisonment and fine.” It’s always a good idea to report the accident, even if you are not certain of the extent of the property damage or the severity of the injuries.
Talk to a Skilled Temecula Auto Accident Lawyer Today
Coping with the hours, days, and weeks following an auto accident can be overwhelming, especially if you’ve suffered an injury. The thought of reporting the accident and negotiating with insurance companies can seem daunting. When you enlist the guidance of an experienced Temecula auto accident lawyer, you can trust that they will help you navigate these communications and negotiations to secure the settlement you need to move forward. Let your attorney negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf while you focus on what matters most—your physical recovery.
Call Hales & Associates, A Professional Law Corporation, today at (951) 489-3320 to discuss your situation with a skilled Temecula auto accident lawyer.