While lawyers and judges are the ultimate legal experts, of course, I believe that every citizen should take the time to learn a little about law for several reasons. First, it is important to know your rights, and knowing them can come in handy if anyone ever accuses you of a crime you didn't commit or threatens you legally in another other way. Second, learning about your local, state, and federal laws can help you act as a better citizen. When election time comes around, you can then truly understand ever change in law being proposed by a candidate and whether it benefits society or not. I plan to share posts about law topics explained in plain English on my new blog, so you can come back often to sharpen your legal knowledge!
If you have been involved in an auto accident, then you should report the accident to the relevant parties – chiefly the police and your auto insurance company. Below are some of the consequences you might suffer if you don't report the accident in time.
It Might Be Illegal
Whether or not you must report an auto to the authorities depends on your state's laws plus the extent of the accident. Many states require you to report an accident if there are injuries. Some states also require reporting any accident with significant damages, even if there are no injuries. Thus, you might be breaking the law if you don't report an accident with significant damages or injuries. To be on the safe side of the law, report any accident that causes damage or injury unless it is a single-car accident with minor injuries limited to your car.
It Violates Insurance Regulations
It is not just the authorities that require you to report an auto accident; most auto insurance companies also include the requirement in their terms and conditions. You jeopardize your auto insurance policy any time you don't report an accident as the insurer demands. In fact, your auto insurance carrier might decline your claim if you submit the claim after failing to report the accident within the stipulated time.
You Might Not Get the Police Report
Another problem with not reporting your auto accident is that you might fail to get the police report. When you (or anyone else) inform the police of an auto accident, the police will come to the accident scene, survey it, talk to the parties, and generate an accident report. Victims of the accident can use the report to track potential witnesses, refresh their memory on the facts of the accident, and use the report to strengthen their auto accident claim. You will miss out on all these if everyone flees the scene and doesn't report the accident.
It Complicates Insurance Claims
Lastly, failing to report your auto accident to the police and insurance company can complicate your ensuing auto accident claim. For example, you will have a hard time proving to the insurer that the accident happened as you claim. Many insurance companies don't even accept claims without police reports. What is more, other victims of the accident can also sue you for damages, and you will have a hard time defending yourself if you didn't report the accident in the first place.
To learn more, contact your local auto accident attorney.