KELLUM LAW FIRM – NEWS & RESOURCES

6 Good Reasons To Report A Minor Car Accident or Fender Bender.

Car accident with minor damage - should I involve the police?You are crawling along in stop and go traffic when someone rear ends you or you rear end them. You both pull over and get out of your cars to assess the damage. Your car appears only to have a few minor scratches and their car appears to have no visible damage whatsoever.

You are both happy that no one was hurt and that there was very little apparent damage to either vehicle. You discuss your options. Nothing seems to be wrong so why bother the police and why report it to your respective insurance companies? You don’t want your insurance company to raise your rates, right?

Sounds logical, but is it? The short answer is no.

1 – Legal Grounds For Reporting Any Accident Involving (minor) Damage To Property And/Or Persons

Many states legally require that you report an accident, particularly if there is an injury to any party involved. Many states also require you to report the accident if the damage to property is over a certain dollar amount. For example, North Carolina requires you to report an accident to the police if the damage incurred exceeds $1000.

 

2 – Reneging On Agreements Made At The Accident Scenecar accident lawyer to help with small claims

The other person in your case seems like a nice person, you can’t see much damage to either vehicle so why not agree between you to just pay for it yourselves. You make a deal with the other driver not to report it but a few days later the other driver decides it was your fault.

Without a police report it is now your word against theirs. They then tell their insurance company that it was your fault, and suddenly you wish you had a police accident report to corroborate your version of events.

The insurance rate hike you were trying to avoid now seems small compared to the legal bill involved in unraveling the mess.

 

3 – Delay In The Appearance Of Crash Related Injuries

Once the post- accident adrenaline has worn off one or both of you realize you have been injured. Whiplash can often take over 24 hours or more to appear, as can certain types of back, knee and other injuries. Or it could be a mental or emotional reaction to the accident that causes someone to rethink their position.

Again, you’re left wishing you had a police accident report to help present your version of the events.

4 – Accident Reported By A Witness

With just about everyone carrying a cellphone these days it’s not unusual for even minor car accidents to be reported by uninvolved bystanders. You’ve made a verbal agreement with the other driver not to involve the police, but then an officer knocks at your door that evening asking about your involvement in an auto crash earlier that day. What now?

 

5 – You’re Obligated To Report Any Car Accident Under The Terms Of Your Insurance Policy

What about your respective insurance companies? Why report it to them? Again, it is usually the fear of a rate hike that keeps people from filing insurance claims.

Your insurance policy terms will offer protection to you against your financial liability stemming from an accident, but only if you report it to them within the time-frame specified within the policy, which can be as low as 30 days.

So you made a deal with a complete stranger who may or may not have been injured following the accident, and then the person takes their car to the body shop and gets an estimate for a $1500 repair, thus setting the ball rolling through his insurance company to go after you as the responsible party.

If only you had reported it to your insurance company in time.

 

6 – Delay In The Appearance Of Crash Related Damage To Vehicles

You’re at the scene looking at your car and you don’t see any damage other than some basic bumper scuffs. No damage, no claim, right? But how can you be certain there’s no damage? Most modern bumpers are designed to absorb impacts up to around 5 mph without transferring the affects of the impact to the rest of the vehicle. But it’s not uncommon for low speed impacts to cause things like leaks, damage to your battery and wheel alignment issues which may go unnoticed at the scene of the accident. Also, while there may be no outward appearance of damage, your impact absorbers may need to be replaced. 

So there are enough good reasons to report minor car accidents to the police and then to notify your insurance company, and very few good reasons not to. Every insurance company has a stipulation requiring policy holders to immediately report an accident. Failing to report the accident can cause you problems in the future.

If you need help unravelling the mess after failing to report a car accident through the correct channels, contact Kellum Law Firm today and speak with one of our experienced car accident lawyers.

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DISCLAIMER:

The content on this website is provided for general information only. It should NOT be construed by the reader as LEGAL ADVICE. The LAWS of the Nation and of the State of North Carolina are subject to frequent change and addition. Such changes and additions may periodically render the general information on our website out-of-date, thus, we disclaim any and all liability in respect to actions taken or not taken by the reader based on his or her interaction with the content of this website.

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OUR ADVICE TO YOU:

It’s often the case that the outcome of an accident or injury claim can hinge on the smallest of details. While it may seem appealing to try to handle a case on your own, it’s rare that acting independently of a lawyer will yield the best results for the plaintiff. Therefore, whilst we encourage you to read the useful articles at our website,  we strongly recommend that you seek sound legal advice before attempting to deal with any type of accident or injury claim on your own.

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PUT YOUR TRUST IN OUR TEAM OF LAWYERS AT KELLUM LAW FIRM – WITH TEN OFFICES AROUND NORTH CAROLINA, A FIFTY YEAR HISTORY OF PROVIDING LEGAL ADVICE TO NC RESIDENTS, AND MILLIONS WON IN SETTLEMENTS – ‘WE’RE WITH YOU ALL THE WAY’.

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Directions

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1620 US-17 BUS
Williamston, NC 27892

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3250 Zebulon Road
Rocky Mount, NC 27804

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(252) 442-3975

219 Broad Street
New Bern, NC 28560

Directions

(252) 633-2550

 

5178-A Hwy 70 West
Morehead City, NC 28557

Directions

(252) 726-7000

 

501 SE Greenville Blvd.
Greenville, NC 27858

Directions

(252) 353-4100

 

4944 Windy Hill Dr.
Raleigh, NC

Directions

(919) 803-1908
Fax 919-803-1908

 

118 Cardinal Drive
Roanoke Rapids, NC 27870

Directions

(252) 535-4444

 

445-A Western Blvd
Jacksonville, NC 28546

Directions

(910) 455-4546

 

1800 E. Ash Street
Goldsboro, NC 27533

Directions

(919) 722-6955

 

1213 Culbreth Dr
Wilmington, NC 28405

Directions

(910) 772-2242

1620 US-17 BUS
Williamston, NC 27892

Directions

(252) 789-4040

3250 Zebulon Road
Rocky Mount, NC 27804

Directions

(252) 442-3975

Kellum Law Firm's corporate headquarters is located in New Bern, NC and has offices around North Carolina, including Raleigh, Greenville, Jacksonville, Wilmington, and more. We provide local residents with legal services focusing on personal injury law including automobile accidents, social security disability, workers' compensation, medical malpractice, and more.

Our Corporate Business Address:

Kellum Law Firm

219 Broad Street
New Bern, NC 28563

Directions

(252) 633-2550