Reporting an accident to the police isn’t always necessary. However, it is generally advisable to report the accident even if you’re not required. Nevertheless, it’s important to understand which circumstances require that you do report the car accident.
When and When Not to Report an Accident
The first thing to consider is if there was significant property damage. In North Carolina, the law is that any damage over $1,000 requires the police to be contacted.
Of course, unless you are a body repair expert, you may not know if the damage is that extensive. Sometimes what appears to be minor could be more expensive to repair or replace than you think.
The second consideration, regardless of how much property damage there is, is if anyone was injured. Reporting a car accident is the law if someone has sustained injuries or there is a loss of life.
If no one has been injured and it’s obvious that any damage to the vehicles is very minor, then reporting an accident to police wouldn’t be necessary. However, do not leave the scene without talking to the other driver and examining any damages. Otherwise, it may be considered a hit and run. Your intentions for leaving might have been innocent, but if the other driver contacts the police, it could result in serious consequences.
You also need to think about whether or not you are going to file a claim, especially if the other driver was at fault. One of the things your insurance company will ask for is a copy of the police report. It could be held against you if you don’t have one.
Reporting a car accident could be the key factor in being able to recover compensation for damage to your vehicle and any injuries you sustained. It may be a good idea to contact an attorney in addition to reporting the accident to police.