Do I Have to Report a Car Accident & What Happens if I Don’t?


If you’re involved in a car accident of any degree, you might be wondering whether you’re required to report it to the police. It’s not always clear if this is the case. The law is different in every state, so this answer can vary depending on where you are. However, generally speaking, if your car accident causes injury to another person (even your own), then you’ll be required to report it to the authorities.

Although the situation might not seem severe, this is still a serious matter that should be addressed. If you’re unsure what to do following your accident, contact 911 for help. The Local Accident Reports News can provide insights into the importance of reporting car accidents.

Why Report a Car Accident?

You might wonder why you should report something that doesn’t seem like a big deal. Reporting a car accident could save someone else’s life. It could help prevent injury to yourself or a loved one, and it could also help to find out what caused your accident.

How To Report A Car Accident

Reporting a car accident to the police is relatively easy. All you have to do is call the appropriate 911 dispatch and tell them what happened. They’ll ask you a series of questions to help them determine if what happened was a serious accident. If they don’t need any further information, you won’t be required to go to the police station.

If you do need to go to the police station, they’ll let you know that they’ll need a few additional things from you. This includes getting your car’s license plate number and the names and phone numbers of any witnesses to the accident.

You’ll also be asked to write down the date and time of your accident and any other relevant information. Before you leave, you’ll have to fill out a form that outlines the details of your accident. Depending on the severity of the accident, you could be asked to submit to a blood alcohol test or drug screen.

What Happens If you Don’t Report a Car Accident?

The consequences for not reporting your car accident vary depending on the circumstance. Different states have different laws. In some cases, not reporting an accident could lead to more serious charges if the driver is found negligent at a later date.

It’s generally mandatory only when injuries are involved. In many cases, there may simply be no need to call the police or file an official report with your local DMV office.

To understand the question, one must first understand what “negligent” means. In the eyes of the law, a negligent driver is someone who fails to exercise a reasonable level of care while operating their vehicle. It doesn’t necessarily mean that the driver is unqualified to drive, but that he or she failed to act as a reasonable person would. In some cases, careless driving may not even be an offense and may only result in the cost of damage repairs.

To put things into perspective, imagine a situation in which you are driving down the highway, and you accidentally sideswipe a parked car while changing lanes. There is no injury to any parties, and there is no damage to your vehicle. This situation might fall under the scope of a “minor accident,” or it may be considered negligence, depending on your driving record and that of the other party.

Here are some examples of the difference between the two:

  • Minor accident – Your failure to display proper traffic signals, use basic care, or obey other traffic laws could result in a minor accident. A minor accident is not a criminal offense.
  • Negligent driving – This is a serious matter and could lead to possible charges of reckless, DWI, or dangerous driving. A negligent driver can be charged with reckless driving or DWI if he or she causes an injury when driving while intoxicated.

If the other party is injured and taken to the hospital, you may face much more serious legal consequences. A lawyer may be able to help secure the best possible outcome in your case.

Should You Call a Car Accident Attorney?

It’s important to seek legal help when you’ve sustained injuries in a car accident. This is especially true if you’re unsure of your state’s laws. If you do need to file a police report, don’t hesitate to speak with a car accident attorney near you. They’ll be able to give you the information you need so that you can take the appropriate steps.

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