Reporting a Car Accident in California

There is a California law for reporting car accidents that require residents to report collisions to the state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) within 10 days if someone was injured or killed. The law also applies in cases of accidents resulting in property damage worth $750 or more.

Car accidents are reported to the DMV through an “SR-1” form, which can be accessed on their website. Our attorneys can help you complete this form if you need assistance.

Promptly filing a car accident report is not only required by law — it can also help your case if you are pursuing an injury claim. There are multiple parties who you will need to file a report with following a collision. In addition to the legal requirement to report collisions to the DMV, car accident victims should also file a report with the police, their own insurance provider and the other driver’s insurance provider.

Who Should I Report a Car Accident To?

In the immediate aftermath of a car accident, your initial report will likely be filed with your local police department. A police officer should respond to the scene of an accident and begin gathering evidence on the collision. They will conduct their own research, but will also speak to you and the other people involved for witness accounts of the incident. If you are not able to speak to a police officer at the scene of the car accident, they will likely reach out to you in the days following the collision. You can also contact the police department yourself in order to file your accident report.

Reporting your injuries to the insurance companies will begin the process of recovering compensation. California is an at-fault state, so you must file a claim with the liable driver’s insurance company and provide evidence of their fault to receive compensation. Although the state of California does not require that you file a claim with your own insurance company following an accident, it is likely in the terms of your insurance plan to report the accident to your provider. Reporting accidents is a requirement of most car insurance policies. If you have additional coverage allotted in your insurance policy, you may be able to recover additional compensation through your own provider.

The Tedford & Associates legal team understands the complexities of car accident claims and is available to provide our legal knowledge to you. Our lawyers can handle the legal processes that are necessary for recovering just compensation while you focus on recovery. Contact us today to discuss your case.

If you were injured in a car accident and are interested in speaking with our legal team, schedule a free consultation with our attorneys by sending us a message or call (626) 325-0142.

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