You may be surprised to learn that you are required to file a police report for a car accident in New Jersey, even one that may seem relatively minor. New Jersey car accident reports are a must for anyone who may need to file a claim to recoup financial compensation for losses related to the accident. Whether you’re in Bergen County or Ewing, NJ, learn everything you need to know about New Jersey car accident reports.
Are You Required to File a Car Accident Report in New Jersey?
Generally, yes, New Jersey law states that you must file a police report after a car accident if the losses are estimated to be $500 or more. The $500 threshold includes both property damages as well as the losses incurred from any injuries. Even with a minor fender bender, you can easily reach $500 worth of damages, so it's best to always file a car accident report with the police in New Jersey.
How to File a Car Accident Report in New Jersey
If the police arrive at the scene of the accident, they will file a report that details and documents the evidence they witnessed at the scene as well as summarizes witness interviews. If the police fail to show up at the scene of the car accident or you didn’t call them, you can file a car accident report yourself through New Jersey’s self-reporting crash form, SR-1.
You have 10 days after an accident to file a car accident 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 not only result in loss of driving or registration privileges in the state but also prevent you from filing an insurance claim.
Requesting a Copy of Your Car Accident Report
You may request a copy of your car accident report through the New Jersey State Police & New Jersey Turnpike Authority Crash Report Requests System. This online system allows you to request a report for a car accident that occurred on a roadway, the New Jersey Turnpike, or the Garden State Parkway. In the event of a serious and/or fatal accident, your car accident attorney may also request and receive the car accident report and photographs related to the crash.
You should request and retain a copy of the car accident report, whether you filed it yourself or not. In some cases, details in the police report may not be accurate or complete and you may be able reflect changes or corrections.
The process of requesting and receiving a car accident report can take a few business weeks, so make sure to plan ahead if you need the report quickly.
Does a Car Accident Report Say Who Is At-Fault for the Crash?
A police report may offer details, witness statements and other evidence that may be important to determine liability after a car accident. However, a car accident report does not assign liability in the way an insurance company will. Insurance adjusters ultimately determine who is at-fault for a car accident. In some scenarios, both drivers may be partially responsible in which case an insurance adjuster will assign a percentage of fault to each driver.
Filing a Car Accident Insurance Claim in New Jersey
New Jersey is a no-fault car insurance state, which means that your own insurance company is the primary insurer for your accident, regardless of who was at-fault. That doesn’t mean, however, that the insurance company will treat your claim and compensation demands fairly. And, if your own insurance cannot cover the full cost of damages, you may be able to pursue a claim against the at-fault driver. It’s always a good idea to consult with a New Jersey car accident lawyer to discuss your case as soon as possible after the accident.
The Office of Brandon J. Broderick, New Jersey Car Accident Lawyers, Can Help
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, don’t go it alone. An experienced car accident lawyer can advocate for your best interest and pursue fair compensation for your damages. At Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law, you can count on us to work tirelessly for your quality of life. With our long track record of success, we’ve helped people just like you move forward after sustaining an injury that was caused by another’s negligence. Contact us now for a free legal review.