Reporting a Car Accident
Imagine hopping into your car. Whether you’re going to work, a friend’s house, on an errand, or going on a road trip with family. You’ve only one focus in your mind: going to your next stop as safely as possible.
You grabbed the wheel and stepped on the gas. A couple of minutes later, you got hit by another car. You check on yourself. See if you have bruises or injuries. After ascertaining you’re good with only a minor bruise on the head, you step out of the car and see the damage.
Regardless of who is at fault, it’s never a good time to get involved in a vehicular collision. Whether it’s just a slight fender bender or a catastrophic car crash, it’s inconvenient and costly, if not life-threatening. Nonetheless, there are a couple of things you need to take care of when you’re involved in an auto accident, and take care of it relatively quickly.
First off, appropriate medical attention for the bruised or injured. For this purpose, you need to seek help by calling 911. This brings the matter to the attention of the emergency medical personnel and law enforcement officers. You may also look for help from nearby people.
Contacting the Police
Medical concerns aside, in every car accident, you’ll need to have police officers on the scene. In most cases, you’ll need to secure a police report when filing appropriate action for recovery of damages. Your insurance provider will also require a police report before processing your claim for indemnity.
But assuming you didn’t call for law enforcement officers, how long should you report a car accident? Similarly, when should you notify your insurance provider about the incident?
In this article, you will find general answers to all time-related questions as well as issues relating to statutes of limitations as it pertain to the filing of accident claims.
Q. Am I required to report the car accident?
Not really. There are rare instances when you may not be required to file a report at all. For example, you dented or scraped the paint off your car when you hit your gate while backing out. Another instance is low-speed minor collision and the other driver is willing to compromise to avoid lengthy or costly litigation.
Other than those exceptional circumstances, you may need to file a report with law enforcement. You will use the police report to file a claim for indemnity or pursue a legal action for compensation for damages.
Q. When should I report the car accident?
As soon as possible. When there are law enforcement officers responding to the scene, you can file a report therein.
On the other hand, most insurance providers have 24-hour hotlines dedicated for filing accidents and/or claims. If you’re not sure when to give notice to the insurer, read through your insurance policy.
Filing a Lawsuit
When dealing with a car accident, you have to comply with the statute of limitations as it relates to filing an action in court.
Statute of limitations is the strict time limit for filing an action. Every state, however, has its own set of statute of limitations; i.e., when is the last day for filing an action. Different states may also have different types of claims. With regards to legal matters, it is best to consult with a lawyer about these things.