Most of us have experienced a minor car accident, such as misjudging the distance between you and the car you accidentally backed into as you pulled out of a parking spot, or bumping into a car ahead of you that suddenly and unexpectedly stops. While these types of accidents usually do not cause injuries, they can still cause minor vehicle damage. Do minor car accidents need to be reported in Nashville? The answer is yes, they should, regardless of how minor they seem.
If you have insurance, you are required to report accidents, even the minor ones. Another reason to report a minor car accident is that what may appear to be minor at the accident scene may eventually become more significant later on. For example, that minor “bump” into the car that unexpectedly stopped in front of you may have aggravated an existing injury the other driver previously suffered, or caused a new injury. If this happens, and you did not report the accident when it occurred, your insurance company may not be able to fully protect you from being liable. Furthermore, the premium increase you hoped to avoid by not reporting the accident may still occur.
You would not need to report a minor car accident if it only involves your own car, the accident occurs on your property, no injuries were suffered, and only your property was damaged.
Why You Should Involve Law Enforcement
No matter how minor a car accident, you should always report it to the police. In many states it is required. A police report serves as a crucial piece of evidence in an insurance claim investigation and a personal injury lawsuit. It tells your insurance adjuster or personal injury lawyer when the accident occurred, where it occurred, the nature of the accident and who was involved. It also provides another important piece of information—whether the other driver carried insurance. If you do not contact the police when your accident happens, the other driver may not readily divulge insurance information to you. However, he would be required by law to show proof of insurance to a police officer.
The police can also obtain information about the accident scene, gather any evidence found at the scene, and obtain statements from any witnesses. All of this information will help your insurance adjuster or personal injury attorney should you decide to file a claim. A police report is also proof that you were in a car accident in the event that damage or injury suffered by the other driver appears much later than the day of occurrence. Without a police report, it would be your word against the other driver, who might deny he was ever in a car accident.
Car Accident Reports
Accident reports differ from police reports in that police reports are always taken by a law enforcement officer, while accident reports are usually completed by the drivers involved in a car accident. An accident report may be your only option if your car accident occurs during inclement weather and law enforcement cannot respond if no one was injured, due to other emergencies caused by the weather conditions. Many convenience stores and gas stations have accident forms you can complete and send to your local law enforcement agency. Many businesses also have accident forms to be filled out if an accident occurs on their property
If you elect to file a personal injury claim, reporting a car accident is one of the smartest moves you can make. The next wise move is to contact one of our seasoned personal injury lawyers to discuss your claim. Your first consultation is free, and you can learn what your rights are and your legal options.