Your Ally
In Complex Litigation And Transactions

Do you have to report a car accident?

On Behalf of | Jun 1, 2022 | Auto Accidents

Each year, there are hundreds of thousands of accidents in the state of California. Due to a large number of people on the roads and highways, for many, it is not if they will be in an accident but when. 

If you are in the unfortunate position of being in an accident with another driver, you may wonder – are you required to report the accident? Find out the answer here. 

What does California law say?

In California, the law states that you are required to report all accidents that occur on a street, private property, or highway within 10 days of the collision, no matter who was at fault. If you fail to report a reportable accident within 10 days by filing the SR-1 form with the California DMV, your driver’s license may be suspended. 

What is a reportable accident?

An accident is required to be reported by filing an SR-1 form if the following criteria are present:

  • Damage exceeding $750 to vehicles involved or other property
  • An injury or death to anyone involved in the accident

Are there any other penalties for not reporting your car accident?

Along with having your license suspended, if you leave the accident scene without complying with the law, you may be charged with a misdemeanor. If convicted, the penalty is up to six months in jail, a fine of $1,000, or both. 

Protecting your rights after a car accident

It’s important to note that filing a police report or a report with your insurance company is not enough. You also must file the SR-1 form with the DMV to avoid the penalties mentioned above. This is the only way to avoid potentially serious penalties. It’s also the best way to protect your right to compensation when you’ve been injured through no fault of your own.