Do Minor Automobile Accidents Need to be Reported?

Experienced automobile accident attorney, Doug Lauenstein, provides insight on when to report minor accidents to law enforcement.

In many cases, automobile accidents are minor and result in little damage to the people and property involved.  Rules for reporting these accidents differ from state to state, but there are some factors that you should consider regardless of where you live.  It may be in your best interest to report the accident, large or small.

For example, after a minor accident, if the driver of the other vehicle is uncooperative and reluctant to exchange insurance information, it is important to contact law enforcement.  Law enforcement will make sure that you are able to obtain this information properly and that all procedures are followed.

Even if the other driver is cooperative, there may be a disagreement as to who is at fault or what caused the accident. In this case, it is beneficial to involve law enforcement.  The investigating officer will likely conduct interviews from both parties and witnesses, as well as record physical evidence such as skid marks at the scene of the accident.

Another reason to contact the police after a minor accident is the possibility that you have sustained injuries that may not be immediately apparent.  Often times, injuries from automobile accidents are not noticeable until days or even weeks after the accident occurred.  For this reason, it is beneficial to notify law enforcement of the accident.  You do not want an injury to come up as a result of the accident and have no documentation that the accident ever happened.

In the case of inclement weather, a police officer may not be able to respond to the accident because of the high volume of emergencies brought on by the weather conditions.  If this is the case, exchange necessary information with the other driver, obtain any witness names and telephone numbers and if possible take photographs of the scene and the vehicles including tag numbers from a safe location.

In summary, it is not necessary in all states to report a minor accident.  With that being said, involving a law enforcement official can help to clear up any disagreements and investigate the scene in case evidence is needed for future reference.  For more information on traffic laws and automobile accidents, please contact Lauenstein Law Firm.