The State of California requires that any accident that occurs within the state should be reported by the offending drivers involved in the crash.
No one ever wants to be involved in a car accident but, in the event that one does take place, there are a lot of things that you should know. The accident may or may have not been your fault, and they may be injuries sustained in the course of the accident. Whichever way, you will have to understand the full extent of the damages caused, and request for any additional assistance if you require.
Assess the Situation
If an accident which involves you and your vehicle occurs, you must first take a moment to carefully assess the situation and extent of damages incurred. The State of California frowns upon instances where drivers fail to stop after an accident they are involved in, and the driver would be in danger of being charged with criminal hit-and-run charges. Even if you only damaged another property or ran into a parked car, you are legally obliged to stop first. In the instance of running into and hitting a parked car, where the driver cannot find the owner of the damaged vehicle, he/she is required to leave a note containing their name and address or phone number on the damaged vehicle or property. You will also be required to report the accident to the California Highway Patrol.
Even in the case of your vehicle hitting an animal or injuring it, you are not any less obliged to report the matter. You should pull your vehicle over and take necessary steps towards finding the owner. In case the owner can’t be found, you may contact the Highway Patrol or Humane Society or the police.
After assessing the situation and taking all of the appropriate steps to rectify it, you are required to show a source of identification – a driver license or registration card- to other parties involved or officers involved. You may have to deal with citations and a potential fine if you fail to show some proof of financial responsibility.
Serious accidents will need to be reported to the DMV if the accident has been fatal, casualties were involved, or the damages from the accident exceed $1,000. The report has to be made within 10 days.
The official DMV website for the state of California states, “To report an accident to the DMV you, your insurance agent, or legal representative must complete the Report of Traffic Accident Occurring in California (Form SR-1).
You must also submit an SR-1 in addition to other filings the insurance companies, police, and other administrative agencies require. In order to fill out the SR-1 you need to gather important information at the scene of the accident:
• Place and time of accident.
• Other driver’s name, address, and date of birth.
• Other driver’s driver license information (#/State).
• Other driver’s license plate number and state.
• Other driver’s insurance company, policy number, and the expiration thereof.
• Policy holder’s name and address.
• Vehicle owner’s name and address.
• Explanation of injuries or property damage.”
After filing all the necessary documentation and payments if necessary, you must be sure to properly remove your vehicle from the scene of the incident –whether highway or street; to avoid causing obstructions or, having your vehicle impounded by the State of California.
You need to know exact law in your state regarding reporting accident. In case things get complicated, the first thing you should do is search with traffic lawyer near me. You may face suspension of your driving licence. If you are from California, you need to know the process of suspended license reinstatement ca for quick return of your driving right.