Many people wonder if it's always necessary to call the police after a car accident in New Jersey. What if the accident is minor, or you believe you can handle it on your own? What if you or the other does call the police but they never show up? Many scenarios lead to a car accident in which the police aren’t at the scene. Keep in mind these important facts about what’s required after a car accident and the benefits of a police report.
Should You Call the Police after a Car Accident in New Jersey?
Under New Jersey’s Division of Motor Vehicles law, if a driver is involved in a car accident, he or she is required to report it to law enforcement if the crash involved more than $500 of property damage. In other words, if you’re ever in a car accident and it looks like the property damage is at least $500, you must report the crash to the police. Even a minor fender-bender may have more than $500 worth of property damage, so it’s always best to call the police to the scene.
If you or anyone is injured in an accident, you should immediately call 911 for medical treatment. Some injuries and symptoms after a car accident, like whiplash or concussion, can be slow to present themselves. It’s always best to seek medical treatment as soon as you realize you may be injured. Or, you can choose to have yourself examined by medical professionals to detect any injury.
Because it’s hard to estimate property damage or assess physical harm at the scene of the accident, calling the police and filing a report are a fail-safe way to protect your best interests.
What happens if the police don’t show up to the scene?
If the police don’t show up to the accident, you can file a police report yourself. At the accident scene, make sure to exchange information with the other driver and collect as much evidence as possible by taking photographs and jotting down your notes and recollections of what happened. Then file a New Jersey Form SR-1, a self-reported crash report.
How do I file a car accident report in New Jersey?
If the police do not investigate or come to the accident scene, you have 10 days to file a self-reported crash report with the New Jersey Department of Transportation. You can file a report online or download a form and mail it in. Failure to do so could result in loss of driving or registration privileges in the state.
Can I file an insurance claim without a police or accident report?
Generally, no. Without a police report, the insurance company will likely deny your claim. Insurance adjusters expect evidence of a car crash and the circumstances surrounding it, including insisting on inspecting damaged vehicles before they are repaired by owners. Always file a police report and make sure the vehicle is inspected by the insurance company before you have it repaired by an auto repair shop.
How do I get a copy of a police report in New Jersey?
You can obtain copies of the police report related to a vehicle accident by going to the police station or by requesting a copy online. If the accident occurred on a non-toll road, you can fill out a Crash Report Request form with the New Jersey State Police. Accident reports for crashes on toll roads can be purchased through BuyCrash.com
Talk to the Car Accident Lawyers at Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law
We get it. Car accidents can impact on your health, well-being, and finances which can cause worry, fear, and anxiety -- for you and your family. We have decades of experience championing for our clients and succeeding, even when other attorneys say there is no case and insurance adjusters deny or devalue your claim.
At Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law, we believe in exceptional client care, empathy, and results. That’s what makes us one of the top-rated car accident law firms in the area. With offices in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut and Florida, we’ve got you covered. We’ve helped people just like you move forward after sustaining an injury that was caused by another’s negligence. Contact us today for a free consultation.