The Consequences of Not Reporting an Auto Accident in California

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Failing to report an auto accident in California can lead to significant consequences, including the suspension of driving privileges, fines, and even jail time. Contact an attorney right away to ensure that you complete the required steps and understand your options for pursuing compensation.

There are so many things to think about immediately following an auto accident in Southern California. As you examine yourself, your passengers, and others at the scene for any injuries, you’ll need to determine whether an ambulance is necessary. If your vehicle is blocking the road, you’ll need to move to safety and may require assistance in order to do so. During this chaotic time, you may not think to report the accident to the proper agencies. Or, you may think that it’s simply not important to do so. Unfortunately, failing to report an auto accident may lead to significant penalties, such as the suspension of your driver’s license, your driving privileges, fines, or even jail time. 

Auto Accident Reporting Guidelines

The California DMV requires that you report any auto accident involving injury or death to any party, or in which there is more than $1,000 in damages to vehicles or property. You’ll need to file an SR-1 form with the DMV within ten days of the accident. If an injury or other circumstances prevent you from meeting this deadline, a passenger or third party, such as an attorney, may do so on your behalf. 

Penalties For Failing to Report a California Auto Accident

If you fail to file the SR-1 form with the DMV within the allotted 10-day window, you could face the suspension of your driver’s license. In addition, you could face further consequences if you flee the scene or refuse to share your contact information with the other parties involved in the incident. California Vehicle Code 20002 outlines the actions you are required to take immediately following an auto accident. If you fail to comply with any of these steps, you may be charged with a misdemeanor and face up to six months in county jail, $1,000 in fines, or both if convicted.

How an Attorney Can Help

At any point following a car accident, speaking with an attorney is a good idea. If you’re concerned about fulfilling the accident reporting requirements successfully, reach out to an attorney to make sure that you take the appropriate steps. Perhaps you suffered a severe injury and you’re wondering how to pursue compensation that can help you cover the costs of the medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses caused by your injury. Whatever your specific needs or concerns may be, contact a skilled auto accident lawyer to discuss your options.


Call Hales & Associates, A Professional Law Corporation at (951) 489-3320 today to speak to a trusted auto Murrieta accident attorney.

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