You’ve been in a car accident, but the damage isn’t that bad or noticeable, and neither you nor the other driver is injured. You may wonder whether you need to exchange insurance information with the other driver or report the collision to authorities. And what about your insurance company? Should they be notified regardless of the damages?
Accidents, unfortunately, happen a lot which is why it’s important to know the reporting protocol when involved in a collision.
Do you need to report a collision to the police?
The laws pertaining to reporting accidents vary from state to state. Some states require drivers to report all accidents even if there was minimal damage and no injuries while others have a more lenient approach. It is recommended that drivers familiarize themselves with state laws to ensure they are acting in a lawful manner.
On top of reporting to the police, accident might also need to be reported to the DMV. For example, California requires an accident to be reported if it resulted in over $1,000 in damage.
At the very least, drivers should exchange insurance and contact information in the event of a collision. By doing so, you can let insurance companies take control of the situation and handle it accordingly.
In the event that the other driver is unwilling to release their information or doesn’t have insurance, it’s best to get authorities involved so they can investigate. This is extremely helpful in determining who is at fault. Accidents can be emotionally overwhelming, and oftentimes the blame game is played afterwards. In such cases, an objective third-party like a police officer can help resolve any dispute and deem the appropriate party at fault on-record.
Reporting a minor accident is not required in every state, but reporting the accident can help resolve the situation in a conflict-free manner. Authorities will be able to investigate the scene and interview witnesses of the collision to determine how the accident occured and whose fault it was.
Do you need to report a collision to your insurance company?
Even if you have a trusted shop to conduct your auto body repair in Michigan or any other state, it is required that drivers report accidents to their insurance companies. However, there are cases in which you don’t have to. Consumer Reports states that the only time a driver should choose not to report an accident to your insurer is when it is a low-speed, single-car mishap, such as backing into a fence or garage.
Whether you’re afraid your premium is going to skyrocket or not, it’s best to speak with your insurance company about auto collisions and learn about the appropriate steps to take when involved in an accident. The last thing you want is for an accident attorney in Pennsylvania or wherever you live to reach out to you because his or her client is reporting pain well after the accident occurred. While there is always the fear of premiums rising, notifying your insurance company and the authorities will ensure you settle the accident and nothing comes back later down the road.
Accident reports are not required at all collisions, but it’s best to check with your state laws and insurance provider on a case-by-case basis. When unsure, it is best to take precautionary measures and notify the authorities to avoid future frustrations.