CORONAVIRUS UPDATE: What We Are Doing to Protect Our Clients

Reporting an Accident in California –


Reporting an Accident in California –

I’m Ed Smith, a Roseville auto accident lawyer. Knowing what to do after an auto accident is critical. There are specific, time-sensitive requirements under California law that left undone can have serious ramifications.

Reporting a Motor Vehicle Accident to the Authorities

When you are involved in an accident that engageed injury or death in California, it is mandatory to report that accident within 24 hours. This report must be made to the police department in a specific city, such as Roseville, when the accident occurred within the city’s jurisdictional area or the California Highway Patrol (CHP) if the accident happened on the highway. A download of the CHP collision report can be found online. Complete it and either mail it in, or take it to the nearest CHP office. If a police officer came out to the accident site, he or she will submit a report. You can request a copy from them or obtain one later.

Reporting an Accident to the DMV

When an accident involves traumatic injuries or if someone died in an accident, a motorist is required to report the accident to the Department of Motor Vehicles within a 10-day period. This is also required if property damage or damage to a vehicle is more than $1,000 since January 2017. You do not have to report an accident if it happened on your property without injury or death and involved only you. Another instance where a report is not needed is when an accident involved vehicles that do not legally require registration, and no one was injured or hurt in the accident. A legal representative or an agent with your insurer may file the report for you. If you are doing it yourself, you can download the SR-1 form that is used to file the report online. Once complete, mail it to the DMV.

Tell the Insurance Company

This is an important step and should be done soon after an accident happens. If you fail to do this, your insurer may not be willing to cover the accident. When you call an insurance company, simply report the accident and refrain from personal remarks or saying anything that might be interpreted as an admission of guilt. If they ask to record the conversation, it might be a good idea to tell them that they will be able to speak to your attorney.

Call a Roseville Car Accident Attorney

Having an attorney on board when you’ve been in a car accident, particularly one that involved injury and death, is a good idea. Sometimes catastrophic injuries occur such as traumatic brain injury with high medical expenses and long periods of rehabilitation that can turn into a financial drain for both you and your family. An attorney is able to assess an accident and determine the economic and non-economic cost. Going it alone might mean that the cost of the medical expenses, especially if they exceed a specific amount, might rest on you.

Roseville Auto Accident Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, a Roseville auto accident lawyer. When you have lost a family member or have been injured in a motor vehicle accident that was caused by the negligent actions of another, reach out to me at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400. I am here to offer you free and friendly advice about your situation. I also have a contact form online at my website of for your convenience.

Since 1982, I have served the people of Northern California as a personal injury lawyer. In those years I have helped many in the Roseville area obtain compensation for their personal injuries and in wrongful death cases.

Please review the comments written by my previous clients on sites like Google, Yelp and Avvo.

You can see how cases I’ve handled were concluded on the verdicts and settlements page, found on my website,, which I own and established.

I am a member of a nationwide organization known as the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. This group is made up of trial attorneys  who have secured million-dollar or more in case settlements and verdicts for their clients.

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