If you’re involved in a San Diego car accident do you have an obligation to report it? It depends. California law does set out certain parameters for when car accidents must be disclosed. However, you may want to report the accident even if it is not technically required by law. Reporting an accident is a great way to preserve evidence for any future legal claim that you may decide to file.
Reporting a Car Accident in San Diego
There are dozens of car accidents every day in San Diego. How do you know which ones have to be reported? According to California law, accidents must be reported if they result in:
- Death, or
- Property damage exceeding $1,000.
How Are Accidents Reported?
Accidents must be reported within 10 days by completing and submitting Form SR-1. You can complete this form yourself or ask your insurance company or attorney to do it on your behalf. This form will be the basis for any insurance claims that may be contested after your accident. It details important details about your accident, including:
- Your name, address, and insurance information
- The name, address, and insurance information of other drivers involved
- The time, date, and location of your accident
- A disclosure of any property damage to the vehicles or real property, and
- A disclosure of any injuries suffered by the drivers, passengers, and/or third parties.
What If I Want to Settle the Matter Privately?
How you want to take care of damages after an accident is up to you. However, if your accident results in injury, death, or property damage exceeding $1,000 you have a legal obligation to report it. Failure to report your accident can have some pretty serious consequences. The most serious being the suspension of your driver’s license for a period of time and hefty fines.
Why Should I Report My San Diego Car Accident?
By law, you are only obligated to report your accident if it causes an injury, death, or substantial property damage. However, it can be helpful to report your accident even if it isn’t legally required.
You Can Protect Yourself In the Future
10 days is a pretty short period of time to ascertain all of the consequences of a car accident. If you think that the other parties may file a lawsuit for damages, it can be in your best interest to report the accident. Disclosing the accident and having an officer complete a police report can help to solidify the details of the crash. This can prevent other parties from making up details about the accident or “remembering” things that never happened. When you’re asked to compensate them for damages, you can point to the accident report as evidence to support your case.
You May Not Realize You’ve Been Injured
Sometimes car accident injuries are not discovered right away. What happens if, down the line, you discover that you’ve sustained a serious internal injury because of your accident? It will be difficult to establish that the accident caused your injury if you never reported it. Causation is an essential component of a car accident injury claim. Reporting your accident can help to ensure that you are able to prove your case in the future.
You Can Help to Keep Others Safe
Reckless drivers pose a threat to everyone on the road. If you are involved in a minor crash with a reckless driver, you can help to keep others safe by reporting the crash. Police may discover that the driver is driving without a license or that they have had multiple traffic violations in the past. If police arrive on the scene and find that the other driver is intoxicated, you may have helped to get a drunk driver off of the road.
San Diego Car Accident Attorneys
If you’ve been involved in a San Diego car accident call Injury Trial Lawyers, APC for help. Our experienced San Diego personal injury attorneys can help you understand your legal rights and obligations. If you were injured in the crash we can also discuss the option of filing a personal injury claim for damages. The money you recover can be incredibly helpful in minimizing the financial pressures you face after your accident. Contact Injury Trial Lawyers, APC today to learn more.