Auto accidents can be a terrifying experience. Whether you are a victim or a witness, they can leave individuals shaken and understandably emotional. In this situation, many people will want to avoid further stress by avoiding police involvement and making a formal report. This is a natural reaction as many of us simply want to get away from a stressful situation as soon as possible. However, the police play a vital role in not only protecting your legal rights after an accident, but also the safety of you and any other victims of an injurious crash.
Today, our auto accident personal injury attorneys will discuss when participants and victims must report auto accidents and how failure to do so can have a negative impact on your future.
Mercer County, NJ Auto Accident Aftermath Lawyers Discuss Witnesses’ Obligation
For individuals who were not directly involved in an auto accident, there is no legal obligation to stay or report an accident. However, it is highly recommended that you do so when possible. Staying to assist other drivers and passengers can be a huge help from a practical and legal standpoint. Our Mercer County auto accident aftermath lawyers recommend taking the following steps:
- Do not take any drastic actions while in your vehicle. Find a safe place to pull your vehicle to the side of the road before worrying about anything else
- Once safe and no longer operating your vehicle, dial 9-1-1 as soon as possible to report the auto accident
- It is not necessary to approach the accident any more closely at this point if you are not able to do so safely. By calling 9-1-1 you have ensured that emergency services are on there way to offer necessary aid
- If you are able to safely approach, attempt to calm victims down by offering them reassurances.
- Do not move victims or administer medical procedures unless you are qualified to do so. Some injuries are not immediately apparent and can be exacerbated by unnecessary movement or other actions
Hamilton Car Crash Reporting Attorneys: Do I Need to Report an Auto Accident I was in?
The short answer is yes, you need to report an auto accident as soon as possible. Pursuant to New Jersey revised statutes Section 39:4-130 – Immediate notice of accident; written report, drivers must report accidents which result in either property damage of $500 or greater or if anyone involved sustained an injury or was killed in the accident. While it is certainly possible that a fender bender fails to meet these requirements, it is often the best course of action to file a report to be safe.
Along those lines, failure to report an auto accident will essentially forfeit your right to pursue financial compensation through a personal injury claim. Many injuries such as spinal cord injuries or brain injuries are not immediately apparent to sufferers. Consider a situation where you are in a car accident and suffer no property damage to your car or obvious injuries. You and the other driver agree that getting the police involved is not worth the effort, so you shake hands and drive off.
A few days later, you are having difficult sleeping, your head is pounding, and you are having a difficult time concentrating. These may be symptoms of a concussion which did not exist at the time of your accident. In this scenario, it is too late, and you have missed your chance to file a successful personal injury claim.
Contact our Hamilton Auto Accident Personal Injury Attorneys Today
At The Law Offices of Cohen & Riechelson, our personal injury attorneys have extensive experience seeking damages for victims of auto accidents in Mercer County towns including Princeton, Trenton, Hamilton, Lawrence, New Brunswick, and across all of Central New Jersey. We have recovered full and fair financial compensation for countless clients injured in car, truck, motorcycle, and all manner of auto accidents since opening our doors in 1972. Our lawyers strive to seek the best possible outcome for our clients all while maintaining the highest level of ethical and professional standards.
To discuss your potential for financial compensation through a personal injury claim in a free and confidential consultation, please contact us online or call our Hamilton, NJ offices by dialing (609) 528-2596 today.