Get the Facts on How to Report a Car Accident in California
Many people know they should report a car accident but it is not always clear how to do so. At Law Offices of Fernando D. Vargas we have helped many clients through the process of filing a personal injury claim. Today we are going to discuss the various ways you can report a car accident in California. If you have questions or would like a free legal consultation call us at 909-982-0707.
Know the Reporting Requirements
Depending on the situation, you might be required to file three reports of the accident. This could include filing with the Department of Califonria Highway Patrol (CHP) or your local police department, the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), and/or your car insurance company.
How to Report the Car Accident to CHP or Your Local Police Department
The law states that any car accident hat results in injury death must be reported either to the CHP or the local police. The law further states that they have 24 hours to do so and that they can do so via written report. Note that if the police responded to the accident, then you do not have to file an additional report with the CHP or local police department. If they do not come to the scene, then call your local police department to find out what your obligations are.
How to Report the Car Accident to the DMV
You might have to also file a report with the DMV. Note that filing with the police does not satisfy any requirement you might have to report it to the DMV, nor does filing with the DMV satisfy the obligation to report the accident to the police.
You must report the accident to the DMV if the accident involved injury or death, or resulted in more than $1,000 in property damages. You have ten days to do this and can do this by filing out Form SR1. In some cases, your insurance company might file this on your behalf so check with them. If unsure, then file the form. Failure to do so can lead the DMV to assume you did not have insurance at the time of the accident and to therefore suspend your driver’s license.
How to Report the Accident to Your Insurance Agency
You are not required by law to report the accident to your insurance company, but it is extremely likely that your car insurance policy requires it. It is generally true that if the accident involved any type of injury or property damage then you will be required to report it. Failure to do so could lead to a subsequent claim being denied.
Your best option if you feel that you have suffered significant injury or property damage is to contact a personal injury attorney. You can reach out to Law Offices of Fernando D. Vargas at 909-982-0707 now for a free legal consultation.