Let’s say you have been involved in a car accident in New Jersey – are you legally required to make a report? Many people ask this question every year and wonder what the consequences are when they fail to report a car accident. The answer is actually very simple: The only circumstances in which you must report a car accident in New Jersey is if it resulted in injury or death to another person, or if the damage caused to the property was over $500. You should always direct the report to the police department, nearest county police office, or New Jersey State Police.
More About Accident Reporting
Of course, you may have many more questions relating to accident reporting in New Jersey aside from when it is necessary or not. For instance, you may wonder how quickly you must report the accident, too. In New Jersey, you must report it by the “quickest means of communication.” This means that, if you have a cell phone at your disposal, you should call as quickly as you can after the accident takes place. If you have no cell phone or there is not a payphone nearby, then you should try to drive to the nearest station or phone the police at home. As the driver, you must also file a written accident report within ten days after the accident. This must be done on an official state form.
But what happens if you’re unable to report the accident immediately? Let’s say that there is a circumstance that calls for this, such as being physically incapable because you are incapacitated. If there was another occupant in your vehicle, then the occupant can take care of the required reports. As of right now, there are no laws stating what the consequences are when you fail to report even though you were physically unable to. This is when you should speak to an experienced attorney about your case.
However, in any other situation where you were able to report the accident and failed to do so, you could receive penalties. Failure to report an accident in New Jersey is punishable by $30 to $100, as well as a suspension of the driver’s license and car registration.
Speaking to an Attorney About Your Car Accident
Now that you understand the answers to some simple questions regarding car accident reporting, you may wonder when it is necessary to retain an attorney. Whether or not you should have an attorney handle your case will widely depend upon what happened and the injuries that were suffered. If you have been injured or your property damaged, then you should probably have an attorney on your side to help represent you against someone who was responsible for the injury and damages. Some of the big factors to help you make this determination are whether or not there was a death involved in the accident, fault is clearly an issue, other parties were involved, a construction area may have caused the accident, the limits of your liability insurance are low, and much more.
If you have been involved in a car accident and you feel that having an experienced accident attorney on your side is best for you, call us today. We can help you from start to finish in regards to your accident claim. At Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi, we care about you and your case!