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Should I Report a Car Accident to My Insurance Company?

Yes. If a vehicle accident is severe and involves serious property damage or injuries, there is no question that you should inform your insurance company.

Your insurance policy will state that reporting your car accident is a requirement, and you will likely need the protection of your coverage. File an insurance claim and speak with an attorney about your case needing a personal injury lawsuit.

Many states also have a legal obligation that you inform law enforcement. There could be serious consequences for failing to file a police report.

Reporting Minor Accidents to Insurance

It can be hard to know what to do for minor accidents. Car accidents like a low-speed fender bender or a single car collision with a garden fence can be confusing. Waiting for the police and dealing with paperwork can be daunting. However, it is always worth the time and effort to get your car insurance company involved.

Involving Insurance After a Crash

In a minor collision, drivers often make a quick assessment of vehicle damage and their own apparent lack of injuries. Then, they agree not to involve their insurance agent or file an accident report.

An agreement made on the side of the road might seem agreeable, but it can create bigger issues later.

People might want to avoid involving their insurance companies for many reasons, including:

  • Concerns their insurance premiums will go up
  • Avoiding the hassle of a lengthy claim
  • A belief they can have the damage repaired for less than their deductible

While these reasons are understandable, they do not always make good financial or legal sense.

Insurance premiums do not always go up after a claim. Repairs paid out of pocket often end up costing much more than an insurance deductible. Trying to avoid the hassle of a claim might be a very short-sighted approach. You may run into bigger trouble later if a claim needs to be made in the future.

The Downside of Not Reporting

One important reason to involve your insurer is that some car accident injuries do not appear immediately.

Soft-tissue injuries such as whiplash often appear in the days and weeks after an accident. A person may realize they are facing expensive medical treatment weeks or months later.

In a worst-case scenario, you might suffer whiplash injuries in the days after a car accident. If you failed to gather the basic details of the other driver (because you both agreed there was no harm done), you would pay for your medical care out of your own pocket.

Underestimating Vehicle Damage

People often also underestimate the extent of the damage their vehicles have sustained. A small bodywork scratch might be hiding other damage under the surface. Even a dinged fender might require an expensive replacement.

In fact, there is a lot of research to suggest that even low-speed collisions can produce thousands of dollars of vehicle damage, even when the car appears unharmed.

When situations like these occur, it can be problematic to return to your insurance company much later to make a claim. If you have also not reported the incident to the police, there may be no record of the accident even happening.

Your insurance may doubt your story, penalize you for reporting the incident late, or even deny your coverage altogether. This could be particularly challenging if you are facing a hefty medical expenses claim from the other party.

Speak to an Experienced Auto Accident Attorney Today

This article is intended to be helpful and informative. But even common legal matters can become complex and stressful. A qualified auto accident lawyer can address your particular legal needs, explain the law, and represent you in court. Take the first step now and contact a local auto accident attorney to discuss your specific legal situation.

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