Most people understand that reporting is required after a major car accident. A minor accident can cause some confusion with people not knowing what to do. What many people don’t realize is that even with some minor accidents, if you don’t take the right steps and report the accident, there could be serious legal consequences to deal with in the future.
Here is a brief guide to let you know how and when to report a car accident, as well as a some information about what could happen if you choose to (or forget to) take the proper steps required by law.Notifying the police after an accident is not a personal choice. It’s not a matter of reporting if you feel like it. There are rules in place for when and how you should report an accident. These can vary between Canadian provinces. Each province will have a financial guideline that sets an amount of estimated damages and this can be used to help you determine if you need to report your accident.
Alberta and Ontario, for example, require reporting of an accident if the damages in the accident exceed $2,000. It doesn’t take much to do enough damage to reach this amount, especially between two vehicles. With this limit, if the damage to both the vehicles is less than $2,000, reporting to the police is not required. If the estimated damage is more, you are required to report the accident to the police or a collision reporting system.
If you or your personal injury lawyer in Sault Ste. Marie does not file an accident report when it’s required by law to do so, the police can charge you with leaving the scene of an accident. It’s a serious charge that can negatively impact your car insurance payments by increasing them. The charge can also mean jail time or serious fines.While it may seem inconvenient, it’s important to make sure you take the time to properly estimate the damages caused by the accident. This will mean that you will always be behaving within the limits of the law in relationship to accidents and accident reporting.
Notifying the Insurance Company
Most insurance companies require that all accidents be reported by the involved driving whether the damage is minor or major. Some drivers try to get around dealing with their insurance companies by paying for the damages themselves. The law says you must inform your insurer of any damages to your vehicle.
You may find yourself in a bad situation if you don’t report an accident to your insurance provider but the other driver involved in the accident reports the accident to their insurance provider. If one claim is made, the driver’s insurer will likely contact your insurer to figure out how the claim will be paid. Once this happens, your insurer will become aware of the lack of claim on your end.
Be aware that even if you pay for the vehicle damages on your own, you will still get increased insurance rates if the accident is discovered and it’s determined that you are partially or wholly responsible for the accident.Some lawyers suggest having a dash cam recorder on your dash constantly running while you drive. Just in case you get into an accident. If you do, the dash cam can provide evidence to prove who was at fault and if and how a claim will be paid.