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Reporting a Collision

As the seasons change, we are seeing foggier mornings, gloomier afternoons, and darker nights. A decrease in visibility is one of the short-comings of driving during fall and winter, which is why it is wise to drive more cautiously in these hazardous conditions. Unfortunately, some drivers may continue driving with no regard for weather conditions or other drivers on the road, which can result in minor, major, and fatal collisions.

While major collisions are typically reported to the police and filed with both party’s insurers, minor collisions are not always given the same treatment. If you have been involved in an auto collision and you are not planning on reporting the collision to your auto-insurer, you should take a step back and consider the consequences.

There are many motivations for not reporting a traffic accident, such as:

  1. You don’t believe anyone has been injured,
  2. You believe the damage is low cost and is less than or equal to your deductible,
  3. The at-fault driver has offered you money in exchange for not reporting.

However, these three motivations can sometimes have unforeseen complications, and you can find yourself in an undesirable position.

If you were injured because of a collision, the first thing you should do is call the police to report the auto-accident. Immediately following this, you need to collect the other party’s information and file a claim with your insurance company. As filing a claim with your insurance is compulsory when there is an injury, it is wise to file your claim promptly. Nonetheless, many people do not file a claim because they do not experience immediate pain due to shock or the pain taking a few days to set in.

san diego personal injury lawyerIf you were involved in a collision that produced no injuries and the property damage was less or equal to your deductible, then you may not need to make a claim. However, when you are involved in a collision that you believe is low impact and no injuries were reported immediately following the impact, you should always follow up promptly with repair shops and pay attention to your body to ensure that your judgement was correct.

If you face a situation where you are a victim of a collision, and the other party is uninsured but offers you money to let them evade punishment by police, do not accept the cash. While accepting the cash may seem like an easy fix to the problem, you can be charged with insurance fraud if you decide to file a claim.

Additionally, visual assessments of damage are not always correct. It is difficult to estimate the damages which resulted from the collision. Even something that you believe is minor, like acquiring a small scratch to your back up camera, may be costlier when you take it in to obtain repairs. If these repairs do happen to be costlier than your original estimate, and the property damage exceeds $1,000.00, by law you are required to report the damage to the DMV (SR-1 and SR -19) within 10 days of the incident. Or, if the other party filed an SR-1 with the DMV, you must file your SR-1 within 30 days of receiving notice from the DMV. If you do not, you can have your license revoked for up to a year.

When you are involved in a collision with an uninsured driver, always report the collision to your insurance company. Immediately reporting a collision to your insurer can be vital in protecting you from legal ramifications. If you have any questions or concerns regarding your vehicle collision, a San Diego personal injury lawyer at Acclaim Law Group will answer all your questions and work with you to ensure you are cared for. To get answers to any questions and set up a free consultation, call Brett Geruntino, Esq., at (858) 252-0781.

Disclaimer: While we always seek to establish accuracy when publishing articles, this piece is not intended to provide legal advice, and should not be used as such. Each individual case will differ and should be discussed with an attorney or legal expert. If you would like to inquire about pursuing a claim, please contact us at (858) 252-0781 or email brett@acclaimlaw.com

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