Do I Have to File a Police Report After My Los Angeles Car Crash?
Filing a police report is recommended, and notifying the DMV is required for your Los Angeles car accident claim.
Regardless of who caused the car accident, you need to make sure the proper authorities know about it. There are strict deadlines in place for filing a crash report with the different agencies that need to know.
- You have 24 hours from the accident to notify the CHP. California law states that if there are injuries or a death stemming from a car accident, you must let the Highway Patrol know within 24 hours. You can also take care of this by notifying the local police department that has jurisdiction. If the government office receiving the report isn’t responsible for processing it, they’ll forward it to the proper office.
- The California DMV requires notification within 10 days of the accident. The DMV is to be alerted if there is more than $1,000 in property damage, an injury or death from a car accident.
What are the penalties for not filing a police report after my Los Angeles car accident?
No matter how small a fender bender is, law enforcement still needs to know about it. If no report is made about your car accident, you could be facing up to six months in jail and $1,000 in fines.
How do I file a crash report with the California Highway Patrol?
The easiest way is by calling 800-835-5247. This number is specifically for accident reports and tow information.
You’ll also need to complete a Collision Report, known as a CHP 190 form, which can then be dropped off at your nearest CHP location.
How do I notify the California DMV about my Los Angeles car accident?
The California DMV requires a Traffic Accident Report SR-1 form for each vehicle accident.
Once it’s completed, you can mail the form to:
Department of Motor Vehicles
P.O. Box 942884
Sacramento, CA 94284-0884.
When should I notify my insurance provider?
Like most states, California does not regulate notification timelines for insurance providers following a vehicle accident.
It is, however, in your best interest to let your provider know as soon as possible so they can either process your claim or begin investigating your case.
What else can I do to protect myself?
The first thing you should do is make sure you’re physically ok. Many common car accident injuries take a while to reveal their symptoms. A good example of this is a concussion. A complete physical by a licensed doctor should reveal any injuries sustained in the accident.
Plus, that initial doctor’s office visit launches a documentation of your experience, which can prove to be an invaluable form of evidence if you decide to take legal action against the at-fault driver.
Other things you can do to protect yourself legally include:
- Photographing the accident scene, with particular emphasis on taking shots of the conditions of the vehicles, traffic lights and signs, skid marks, etc.
- Getting contact information from anyone who may have witnessed the accident.
If You’ve Been in a Los Angeles Car Accident, Call the Personal Injury Lawyers with Sina Rez Law.
To make sure you have all your legal bases covered, the best course of action is to leverage the expertise of Los Angeles personal injury lawyer. We know the deadlines that must be met for notifying the proper authorities, and will fight aggressively for the justice and compensation you deserve.
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Speak with a top-rated Santa Monica Personal Injury lawyer today to understand your rights before they expire. Time is of the essence.