Rules for Reporting an Accident in Novato

Accident with Truck

Rules for Reporting an Accident in Novato

I’m Ed Smith, a Novato car accident lawyer. Did you ever wonder what the laws are when it comes to reporting a car accident in Marin County? Following a motor vehicle accident in California that results in an injury or death of another individual, the accident has to be reported to three agencies. If you fail to do so, it could land you in hot water.

Reporting a Motor Vehicle Accident

Under the California Vehicle Code, a motorist who is involved in a motor vehicle accident that results in injury and/or death has 24 hours to report the accident to the appropriate police department or California Highway Patrol if it is within the CHP’s jurisdiction. This is not optional. It is mandatory. If you happen to report it to the wrong location, the agency that receives it will forward it to the correct authority. However, a quick phone call to an official at the police department or CHP should be helpful in finding out who to contact for your particular accident.

Notifying Authorities Unnecessary If the Accident Was Investigated

If your accident was investigated by the police, and these accidents usually are, you don’t have to notify the appropriate authorities. The policeman who makes out the accident report will file it. At the time of the accident, asking for the officer’s name and a copy of the police report is a good idea.

Common Carriers Have a Different Timeline to Report

Those who drive a common carrier such as a bus, taxi or uber vehicle, have a different timeline in which to report an accident. They are required to file a report before the 10th of the month following the accident.

Filing a Report With the Department of Vehicles

You have 10 days in which to report your accident to the Department of Motor Vehicles if your accident resulted in injury, death or property damage of $1,000 or more. It doesn’t matter if someone else was at fault for the crash or whether it occurred on private property. The correct form to file is SR-1, Report of Traffic Accident Occurring in California. It can be filled out online, and you are directed to mail it  to the DMV. It is also a good idea to make a copy for your own records.

Reporting Your Accident to the Insurance Company

This is the third place an accident has to be reported and should be done as soon as possible. If you do not report your accident, even if injuries or a large amount of damage did not occur, your insurance company could deny your coverage.

Recovering Damages for an Accident Injury

An experienced personal injury lawyer can provide valuable assistance following a motor vehicle accident injury by working with the insurance company and, if necessary, gather evidence to recover fair compensation for the injury victim in court. This includes personal injury damages such as  medical expenses, lost work, future earnings if needed, household expenses, loss of consortium and pain and suffering.

Novato Car Accident Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith and I am a Novato car accident lawyer. No one wants to be involved in a motor vehicle crash, but some collisions are out of our control. I hope you will call me if your loved one or you yourself have been injured by a negligent driver or entity. My advice is friendly and free, and you can reach me at (415) 521-2515. Outside the area, the toll-free number is (800) 404-5400.

In the Novato area, I have worked as an injury lawyer for 35 years, I have represented innumerable numbers of victims with traumatic injuries and those who who have suffered the tragedy of losing a loved one due to a wrongful death. As always, my representation costs you nothing until your case reaches a positive conclusion.

Reviews about a legal practice are important. Find mine at Avvo, Yelp and Google Plus. In addition, my website page, Verdicts and Settlements, offers details on some of my previous cases.

The forum called Million Dollar Advocates maintains membership from trial lawyers rated in the top 1 percent around the country, showing verdicts or settlements of at least $1 million for their clients. I am a California member of this group.

Photo Attribution: Depositphotos_52394927_original.jpg

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