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Accident Laws: What Happens If You Don’t Report Fender Benders?

You were driving along, just as happy as can be. And all of a sudden, just in front of you, a car pulls out just ahead of you a little prematurely. You slam on the brakes and swerve out of the way, but end up sideswiping the car in the lane next to you.

The other car that pulled out, however, is now long gone. The accident that you’ve just experienced isn’t serious, just one of those minor fender benders, but your day is already ruined. Do you really need to sit and wait for the police to come out and do a report when you really just want to go home and be done with all of this?

In this article, we’ll answer that exact question: what happens when you get in a fender bender and don’t call the police?

Consider Your State

Like most legal questions, the answer to this one is as well extremely state-dependent. Different states have different requirements for accidents.

Most states will have a requirement that if there is any kind of injury whatsoever, no matter how minor, the parties involved have to call the police and they have to do a full accounting of the situation.

If there was no physical damage to the folks in the cars but there was some damage to the vehicles, then it gets a little bit tricker. Depending on your state, there is likely a threshold of damage at which you must call the police.

This could range from $1000-$2500. Obviously, you can’t estimate the exact value of damages on the spot, but you should be able to think of a rough estimate.

To know this threshold, visit your state’s legal website.

If you don’t report the accident, you could be liable to fines if the other party ends up reporting and could well be put at fault for the accident even if it wasn’t your fault (because you never took an opportunity to give your statement of what happened).

Why Should You Call the Police?

There are lots of good reasons why you should call the police even in minor fender benders. Firstly, the police will be able to sort things out regarding fault and blame if it’s not your fault. You can then take this information to your insurance so that they will compensate you for the damages to your vehicle without significantly raising your premiums.

And with a quick Google of “car accident lawyers near me“, you can find a lawyer to use the statement from the police to help you sue for damages if you need to.

In addition, the police will bring emergency services with them, who can perform a basic check to ensure that the parties involved are in good health.

Call the Police for Fender Benders

There you have it — now you know that you should call the police for fender benders and what happens if you don’t. Be safe on the roads out there!

For more legal advice, be sure to check out the rest of the articles on the website!