Do I Need to Report a Minor Car Accident?
Here’s a scenario for you: While stopped at a red light, the car behind you hits you. You both pull over to the side of the road and get out to assess the damage. Your bumper is a little dented but that’s the only damage to you and the other car. No one was injured. The driver of the car pleads you not to report the crash. Since there wasn’t any damage or injury, what’s the harm of letting this one go?
According to New Jersey law, you are required to immediately report a car accident if the following happened:
- The crash resulted in an injury or death of a person
- The accident had caused damage to either driver’s property in an excess of $500
You will then have to fill out a written accident report within 10 days after the accident or fill out an official state form.
But what happens if you don’t report an accident? Well, if you are physically incapable to file a report, try to have someone let officials know. But if you get into an accident that involves injury or severe damage and don’t report it, you could get into major trouble. You could receive a fine between $200 and $400 or go to jail for 30 days, or both.
However, the law is murky when it comes to minor car accidents. Yet, even if the accident was a just fender bender with no damage or injuries, you should report the accident to the police. Injuries may arise afterwards such as a whiplash. Or, that simple dent in your bumper turns out to be something much more serious. You just never know how serious an accident really is until after the fact.
If you’ve been in a car accident and need help with your insurance company, that’s what we’re here for. Contact the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone now for a free consultation.