After some minor accidents, drivers may be tempted not to bother reporting the collision to the police. Often, the prospect of waiting around can put people off. Consequently, road users will occasionally merely swap details and be on their way.
However, this can often impact any future legal action you may wish to take. Furthermore, reporting an accident to the police is a legal requirement under certain circumstances.
A police report can be legally required
In New Jersey, it is a legal requirement for drivers to file a police report when property damage exceeds $500. Failing to report an incident under these circumstances could result in a fine of up to $100.
Since the extent of damages or injuries may not be apparent in the immediate aftermath of an accident, the state gives individuals up to 10 days after the incident to file a report with the Motor Vehicle Commission.
What benefits come from filing a police report?
Aside from being a legal requirement at times, it can be beneficial for motorists to file a police report after a collision to assist an independent third party in determining the cause of the crash. This information could bolster any future legal claims.
A police report may help with your insurance
Importantly, New Jersey is a no-fault state. This means that your own Personal Injury Protection should cover your medical bills regardless of who was at fault. However, obtaining compensation from an insurance provider without a police report may be more difficult. It is important to note that your compensation claim will not necessarily be denied without this police report but could create unnecessary hassles that you could otherwise avoid.
Understanding the law regarding road traffic incidents is in your best interests. If you have been involved in a collision, it is important to know that you have legal rights.