Contractually speaking, nearly all auto insurance companies require a driver to report any accident they’re involved in, no matter how “minor.” However, in a seemingly minor accident, the parties might agree to work things out amongst themselves. It’s less hassle and they believe their insurance rates won’t go up. Bad idea...and here’s why.
Why You Should Report Minor Auto Accidents
After an accident, some injuries may take days or weeks to manifest. If you don’t report the accident to your insurance company right away, your account of the situation later may come into question.
If you were ticketed or issued a citation at the scene of a minor fender bender, word will get back to your insurance company. Don’t drag your feet in reporting it. An unreported accident might cause your premiums to not just rise, but skyrocket. Worse, your coverage may be discontinued.
Even if you were not at fault and decide to work things out with the other driver, the other driver may size up the situation differently once they’re at home. If they decide to file a claim days or weeks later, your insurance company may deny you certain protections since you failed to report the accident to them.
The only time it might make sense to avoid reporting an accident is if it occurs on your own property, no injuries are involved, and the only damage is to property you own (e.g., backing into your garage door). In this scenario there are no disputes about fault or cost of repairs.
If you are involved in an auto accident, contact an auto accident attorney for guidance and to protect your rights.
Contact a Vehicle Accident Lawyer
If you or a family member has injuries because of a car accident, you should talk to a lawyer before you talk to an insurance adjuster. An experienced attorney can provide the guidance you need if you want to find out more about filing a claim after your accident. In Alaska, attorney Ben Crittenden has helped many accident victims obtain the compensation they deserve. Subscribe to his free newsletter to learn more about what he does and the legal options available to Alaska accident victims.