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Should You Always Report a Car Accident?


As a driver, you’ve probably been frequently advised to contact the police and your insurance company after a car accident. The purpose of reporting a car accident to each of these parties is to have a record of the events which can be used as evidence for recovering compensation through a claim. Just as frequently as you’ve been advised to file collision reports, you’ve probably also wondered if it is always necessary to report a car accident.

For example, what if it’s a minor accident with no injuries, and minimal vehicle damage? What if you have quality insurance coverage and can just file a claim with your provider, without getting the police involved? Or, what if you feel confident that you and the other driver can negotiate terms on your own, without involving the police or your insurance companies?

In the moment, it may feel that reporting your accident is unnecessary, and will only complicate the matter. However, you should always report collisions to the police and your insurance provider — failing to do so can cause distress in the future.

First of all, reporting accidents to police is required by law in many states. Regardless of the legal repercussions, failing to report an accident to the police means your claim will rely primarily on the evidence gathered by you and the other driver. A police report provides a comprehensive account of an accident that is objective, and generally more thorough than evidence from injured parties attempting to gather documentation while distressed or well after a collision happened.

Many people do not report minor accidents in fear that their insurance rates will go up, but reporting a car accident to your insurance company is important if you need to recover compensation. Otherwise, you may have to pay for your injury-related expenses on your own. You should never attempt to negotiate compensation with another driver without the assistance of your insurance provider and an attorney.

Even if you don’t feel like the accident was serious in the moment, the true effects of the collision can arise later on. This is another reason why reporting all accidents is important — you may be confronted with a medical issue or financial stressor you didn’t initially identify, and be left to deal with the consequences alone.

The attorneys of Pierce, Sloan, Kennedy & Early LLC are available to discuss your car accident concerns during a free consultation. Call (843) 968-0886 or complete our contact form to schedule a time to speak with us.
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