What Happens if You Don’t Report a Car Accident – 2024 Guide

Thousands of car accidents happen in the United States alone that result in all kinds of injuries and sometimes even death. Such a thing can happen even when doing the most basic things such as backing out of your driveway or looking for a parking spot at the supermarket. Just 20 or 30 miles per hour is more than enough to cause serious damage both to the vehicles and the people inside.

Even when you are most careful, other drivers can still make a mistake and cause the accident. There simply is no way to control everything around you, no matter how good of a driver you are. In other words, the chances that you will find yourself in such a crash are always high. It may happen today, tomorrow, or 5 years from now, but statistics show that it is bound to happen.

Those that have never found themselves in such a situation will wonder what they need to do. If you are one of those people that hasn’t experienced a vehicle crash before, you will be asking yourself questions such as: “Should I report this to the police if it is just a scratch or a dent?”, “Do I talk to a lawyer”, “What if I do not have insurance on my vehicle?”, etc.

The short answer to all of these questions is: Yes, you should always report an accident, no matter how big or small it is. You can use this article as a short guide to help you understand what exactly happens if you do not report a car accident.

Source: Medium

Should I call the police?

This is one of the first things that will come up to everyone’s mind when they find themselves in this kind of situation. The answer to this question depends a lot on your location, state, or country.

Some states will require you to report any kind of accident. Whether it is damage above $10,000 or below $100, you will still have to do it. Some states require you to call law enforcement, only if the damage is above $1000 or $1500. This amount can vary by state.

Keep in mind that if there is any kind of injury from the accident, you must call the police. Whether it is minor or serious, the law is that you have to report it to the authorities.

What if the other driver is not cooperating?

Unfortunately, a lot of times most of the drivers do not want to admit that they are at fault and will not be willing to cooperate. What does this exactly mean? Well, if there are no injuries and if the cost of the damages is below $1500 then you can just exchange insurance information and everything can be finished in just a couple of days.

However, if the person does not accept his wrongdoings and if they do not wish to provide you with their private information, you will be forced to call the authorities. Refusing to share information after a vehicle accident is a crime and the person at fault will have to cooperate with the police.

Source: Schaefer Autobody

What if the driver is cooperating?

Well, if the person at fault admits his/her mistakes then everything can be settle in just a couple of days. You will be paid back for your damages and that’s about it.

However, if the other driver does cooperate, but does not admit that he/she is at fault then you are facing a complicated problem. This means that they will dispute with your insurance company which will make this accident a bit more complicated. To prove your innocence, you should consider calling law enforcement because they can analyze the scene and collect evidence. This evidence can be used later by your lawyer or insurance company to win the case.

Hire a lawyer

Some car crashes can get very complicated and you will have to call law enforcement and the insurance company of your driver. Sometimes, even the police will not be able to properly analyze the scene and decide which person caused the crash. In this kind of situation, you will definitely need to hire a lawyer. By hiring a lawyer you are increasing the chances of proving your innocence considerably.

According to A Randolph, P.A, car accident, lawyers have tons of experience in this area which means they will be able to analyze all of the evidence regarding the crash and can easily convince the insurance company to pay what you are owed.

Source: McKinley Irvin

What happens if I do not report the accident?

There are a lot of consequences if you do not make a report when you are legally required to. The other driver that was part of the crash could tell the law enforcement that you left the scene of the crash without exchanging any kind of information. This is illegal and could lead to a fine that is well over $1500. Not only will the fine be high, but you may also face jail time which is probably not something that you want, right?

To put it simply, it is best that you always report to the police just to be sure. There is basically no downside to doing this. If the case goes to court, the evidence that the police have analyzed will hold up much better in court.

What if the police cannot come to my location?

Sometimes, the police might not have an available unit to send to your location. This is a rare occasion, but it can happen. In this kind of situation, you will have to record the scene of the accident by yourself. Take photos and videos of both of the vehicles, the crash point, skid marks, and other evidence that might be useful. You can then show these photos to the police to finish your report.

Source: WJAR

Be careful of your surroundings and drive carefully to avoid getting yourself in a crash. However, if you do, these are some of the things you will need to know.