Hundreds of minor vehicle accidents occur every day in the United States.
In most cases a minor accident usually results in no injuries and very little damage, if any to the vehicles involved. Sometimes, the damage may be no more than a dent or a scratch.
When these kinds of minor accidents happen, do you need to report them to your car insurance company? Many drivers do not report an auto accident if they believe it to be minor. The reality is that any and all auto accidents, even those that do not seem serious, should be reported to law enforcement and your insurance company.
The following are some factors that may play a role in your decision to report a minor vehicle accident:
- The extent of vehicle damage or injuries. Always report the accident to your insurance company if someone is injured, regardless of how minor the injury appears to be. You may think you feel fine after the accident happens, but several days later you may find yourself with serious neck or back pain, or whiplash.
- If no one appears to be injured and the damage to both vehicles is minor, you and the other driver may decide not to report the accident to either party’s insurance company, paying for any damages out-of-pocket.
- If the other driver is 100% at fault in the accident, you should file a claim with your insurance company. Do not accept the other driver’s promises to pay for the damage to your vehicle.
Most people hesitate to report a minor car accident because they fear their insurance premiums will increase – auto insurers do take into account the number of claims you make each year. Not filing a claim because you’re worried about changes in your premium is a bad idea because if you were at fault, and you received a citation at the scene of the accident, the ticket will appear on your driving record. Your insurance company will see that and because you didn’t report it, this may cause your premium to hit the roof or cancel your coverage completely.
You should never allow the possibility of an increased insurance premium to prevent you from filing a claim. The consequences of not doing so can be much worse than the extra cost. If you have been involved in a vehicle accident and have questions, contact the San Bernardino personal injury law offices of Welebir | Tierney. Our attorneys can help you decide whether, when, and how to file a report after a minor accident.