Should a Car Accident in New Jersey be Reported to the Police?

Generally, every car accident that occurs in New Jersey must be reported to the police. Some kinds of accidents need to be reported legally, but if no injuries or property damage is involved, getting a police report can benefit the parties involved. If the police are not informed about the accident, this could have negative impacts on the claims process. Any car accident attorney will recommend obtaining a police report. If you need more legal advice and assistance regarding your car accident case, click here

Penalties for Not Reporting a Car Accident

In different situations, not reporting a car accident to the police could lead to penalties against the motorists involved. Under New Jersey law, car accidents that lead to injury, property damage of at least $500, and death must be reported. Failure of one or both parties to report a collision that was lawfully reportable could result in the parties facing up to $100 fines and driver’s license suspension. 

What are the Risks of Not Reporting?

Even if a car accident does not lead to injuries at first, there is a risk of delayed or hidden symptoms surfacing later. A lot of injuries don’t present immediate symptoms. The adrenaline of the victim may mask the injury pain or the kind of injury may not show obvious symptoms until it becomes quite serious. 

In New Jersey, a car accident victim must notify the police of any injuries. Otherwise, an insurance company may refute the existence or seriousness of an injury a victim wants to be compensated for. 

Liability Dispute

Motorists must report even a minor collision to law enforcement. The official police report can contain important information about the accident like the date, time, speeds, location, and directions of the vehicles involved. Also, the names of involved parties and witnesses are included in the report. Such information can be useful in establishing liability or fault when a car accident claim is filed. 

Without a police report, determining liability for the collision can be hard. An insurer may reject a victim’s claim or deny the liability of their policyholder due to a lack of evidence. In this case, the victim would need to prove the fault of the other motorist to be eligible for compensation. 

In addition, if there is no police report, it may be necessary to hire experts and reconstruct the car accident, which costs both money and time. To improve the claims process, victims must collect evidence like photos of the crash scene and testimonies from eyewitnesses. 

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