When to Report an Auto Accident in Southern California

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Even if you sustain minor injuries in a California auto accident, you should report the incident to law enforcement, the DMV, and your insurance company. Reach out to a skilled auto accident lawyer today to discuss your options for pursuing compensation.

Car accident injuries can range from minor scrapes to life-threatening conditions. As you cope with the aftermath of an auto accident in Riverside County, you may wonder about your obligation to report the accident and to whom. Even if you have only suffered minor injuries, it’s a good idea to report the accident and schedule a doctor’s visit to ensure you haven’t sustained a traumatic brain injury or another harder-to-detect injury. Here’s what you need to know about reporting an auto accident in Temecula or Murrieta.

What California Laws Say About Reporting Car Accidents

According to Chapter 1, Section 20008 of the California Vehicle Code, any driver involved in an auto accident where injuries or death occurred must make a written report to the California Highway Patrol or local police department within 24 hours. However, if a law enforcement officer arrives at the scene of the accident, they may compile a written report and relieve you of the obligation to file your report separately. Additionally, you must notify the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) within ten days of the accident if the crash involved injuries, fatalities, or property damage exceeding $1,000.

Reporting the Accident to the Insurance Company

If you want to recover compensation to help offset the costs of medical bills, lost wages, and other unanticipated expenses stemming from the accident, you should report the accident to your auto insurance company as soon as possible. Although there is no definite time frame for reporting the accident to the insurance company, California has a two-year statute of limitations for personal injury claims. This means that you have two years in which to pursue a claim and recover compensation. Once the two-year period ends, you forfeit your right to collect compensation.

When to Enlist the Help of an Auto Accident Lawyer

While auto accident victims may choose to navigate the claims process on their own, dealing with your physical recovery, financial stress, and uncooperative auto insurance adjusters can be overwhelming. Working with a dedicated and experienced Temecula auto accident attorney allows you to focus on your recovery and other aspects of your life while your lawyer negotiates a favorable settlement on your behalf. If you need help obtaining the compensation you deserve following an auto accident injury in Riverside County, get in touch with a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer today.


Call Hales & Associates, A Professional Law Corporation, today at (951) 489-3320 to discuss your goals with a trusted Temecula auto accident attorney.

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