Many car accidents happen in parking lots or residential areas at slow speeds, so the damage is minimal. Drivers often think these minor car accidents are not worth reporting. However, it is important to know the actual laws that pertain to this type of incident. In New Jersey, the law stipulates that the police must be called if the accident caused injuries, death, or property damage in an amount greater than $500. Drivers are required to notify the authorities as quickly as possible.
Every state requires that one must exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver if they are involved in a car accident, even a minor one.
Should I Call the Police?
Even after a minor fender-bender, it is never a bad idea to contact the police. This is an important step for many reasons. It creates an official record of the incident, and many insurance companies require a police report. The police officer can interview other drivers and witnesses, and physical evidence will also be recorded, which will help with a personal injury claim.
Especially in a minor car accident, injuries may not be readily apparent. There are many types of injuries, including concussions, that do not present symptoms immediately. Without a police report, the other driver could claim the accident did not cause the injuries, and one may have trouble filing a claim without a report.
What Should I Do After a Car Accident?
With any car accident, major or minor, one should do the following steps:
- Stay calm and check everyone for injuries. If there are any suspected injuries, call an ambulance immediately.
- Check the vehicles for smoke or the smell of gasoline. If one suspects smoke or gasoline, move away from the vehicles.
- Move the vehicles out of traffic. If possible, move the vehicles out of the flow of traffic.
- Call the police. Even after a minor accident, it is important to contact the police.
- Exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver. This information will be helpful when filing a claim.
- Document the accident scene as much as possible with photos or videos. Note the damage to vehicles and any evidence, such as skid marks.
- Never leave the scene of an accident. It could result in serious charges. Always exchange contact information with the other driver and wait until the police arrive.
Remember, it is very important to stick to the facts, do not make any statements admitting fault or accept a settlement without a lawyer. When one returns home, report the accident immediately to the insurance company. Failure to do so could result in significant problems down the road. Additionally, an injured motorist should contact a lawyer right away.
Monmouth County Car Accident Lawyers at the Falcon Law Firm, LLC Assist Victims Injured in Minor Car Accidents
If you were in a minor car accident and you have injuries, contact one of our Monmouth County car accident lawyers at the Falcon Law Firm, LLC for help. Call us at 732-660-1200 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Oakhurst, Parlin, and Aberdeen, New Jersey, and Doylestown, Pennsylvania, we serve clients throughout Asbury Park, Belmar, Deal, Ocean Township, Point Pleasant, Long Branch, West Long Branch, Sayreville, Middlesex County, and Monmouth County, New Jersey, as well as Bucks County, Pennsylvania.