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When Do You Have to Report a Car Accident in New Jersey?

Posted on behalf of Lynch Law Firm on Mar 25, 2019  in Car Accidents News

Accident reportIf you were involved in an accident that caused you to suffer an injury or caused drastic damages, you may be wondering if it is necessary to report the accident to the police. Find out if your accident should be reported with the points highlighted below.

If you were injured in a car accident, contact our New Jersey car accident lawyers at Lynch Law for a free, no obligation consultation now.

Laws on Accident Reporting

New Jersey law requires that automobile accidents be reported if certain conditions are met. If the accident results in the injury or death of any person, or causes an excess of $500 in damage to property owned by any one person, the accident must be reported.

Accidents should be reported to one of the following law enforcement agencies:

  • Local police department
  • Nearest county police office
  • New Jersey State Police

Drivers involved in an accident in New Jersey must also file a written accident report following the collision.

While it is not legally required that you report a car accident to your insurance company, you will want to do so within a reasonable timeframe following the accident due to the terms of your insurance policy. Failing to notify your insurance carrier of an accident could result in a denial of coverage for your claim.

Time Limitations to Report

If your accident is required to be reported, you should do so by the quickest means of communication. Basically, this means you should do so as soon as possible. Typically, you can do so using a cellphone at the accident scene. If no phones are available, you should drive to the nearest police station to make an accident report. If your vehicle is not operational after the accident, you may report the accident by calling law enforcement once you return home.

Written accident reports must be filed within 10 days following the accident. You must use the official state form, “New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission Motor Vehicle Accident Report.” The New Jersey Self-Reporting Crash form should be filed to report an accident that was not investigated by any police agency.

If you are unable to give oral notice of the accident immediately after it happens or are unable to file the required written accident report, another occupant who was in the vehicle during the collision may do so. If your passenger is also unable to make the report or there was no one else in the vehicle with you at the time of the collision, you should consult a New Jersey car accident attorney, as the law does not detail what will happen under these circumstances.

If you wish to file a car accident lawsuit against the driver who is at fault for your accident, you must do so within the two-year statute of limitations. This time period starts on the date of your car accident. Failing to file your lawsuit within these two years is likely to result in your case being dismissed.

However, New Jersey follows a no-fault insurance system. You may only file a lawsuit against an at-fault driver under certain circumstances, such as if the accident resulted in the injured person experiencing:

  • Significant disfigurement or scarring 
  • Loss of a body part
  • A displaced fracture
  • Permanent injury
  • Loss of a fetus
  • Death

What Happens If I Fail to Report the Accident?

If you fail to report a New Jersey accident that requires reporting, penalties can be enforced. You may be subjected to a fine between $30 and $100, plus court costs. Your driver’s license and vehicle registration may also be suspended.

Get Assistance from a Lawyer Right Now

If you were injured in a car accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Our New Jersey car accident attorneys will review your case and let you know what legal options may be available to pursue the maximum compensation you deserve.

Schedule a free, no obligation consultation today and learn your legal rights. We charge no upfront fees and you only pay us if we recover compensation for you.

Call (800) 518-0508 or fill out our Free Case Review form now.

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