What is a Non-Reportable Accident in Virginia?
Not all accidents are required to be reported to the police. In fact, depending on the state in which you live, there are usually minimum amounts of damage to require reporting. Additionally, in Virginia, accidents on private property are usually considered non-reportable. If you’re in a minor car accident that is considered non-reportable, how should you handle the situation and ensure everything is taken care of? If you know what to do, you can make the process as smooth as possible. Here are some tips to handle a non-reportable car accident.
Mike Ritchie of the Ritchie Law Firm discusses non-reportable accidents in this video:
Non-reportable Motor Vehicle Accident: No Police Report
In the state of Virginia, car accidents that occur on a public road or highway, must be reported to the police. Additionally, if there is an injury involved in the accident, that injury must also be reported within the police crash report.
However, if the accident occurs on private property, such as in a parking lot, then it is not required to be reported. There are some exceptions to this rule. If damage to either vehicle exceeds $1,500 or if there is any type of injury involved, then the accident must be reported regardless of where it occurred. If the accident is reportable, the investigating police officer must file a copy of the report with the Virginia DMV within 24 hours.
What Should You Do After a Non-Reportable Car Accident?
The first thing you should do after any car accident, reportable or non-reportable, is to make sure that everyone involved is okay. If anyone is injured, call for medical attention right away. Once you have done that, you should contact the local police agency and let them know about the collision. An officer will usually come to the accident scene and let you know whether an accident report will be filed.
If the police agency tells you the traffic accident is not reportable, they will usually assist you in exchanging information with the other driver. If the police officer doesn’t assist with the information exchange, you will want to get the following information from the other driver:
- Phone number
- Insurance company name and policy number
If the other driver does not have insurance, you will want to get their full name, address, and phone number. You may also want to take pictures of the damage to both vehicles.
After you have exchanged information with the other driver, you should call the other driver’s insurance company as well as your own insurance company. Let them know that you were in an accident and give them all of the details, including the other driver’s information and information about the vehicles involved. Tell the at-fault driver’s company that you want to open an insurance claim. The insurance companies will usually then schedule a time for them to take a look at your vehicle and may ask to take a recorded statement.
It is important that you report the accident to your insurance company as your policy likely requires this. If you fail to report the collision to your insurance company, they could attempt to deny coverage in the future if someone blames you for the accident.
Insurance Company Recorded Statements After Auto Accidents
You are not required to give a recorded statement to the other driver’s insurance company. However, the other driver’s insurance company may try to pressure you into doing so. They may tell you that if you don’t give a recorded statement, your claim will be denied. This is not always true, and you are usually not required to give a recorded statement.
The reason the other insurance company wants you to give a recorded statement is because they are hoping you will say something that can be used against you later. For example, if you say something like, “I’m sorry, I didn’t see the other car,” this statement can be used against you to prove that the accident was your fault.
It’s important that you speak with an attorney before giving any type of statement to the other insurance company. Most personal injury attorneys will give you a free consultation where you will be able to get some advice about how to handle the recorded statement. An experienced personal injury attorney can advise you on whether or not you should give a recorded statement and can be there with you when you do so, to make sure that nothing is misconstrued.
What If the Other Driver Drives Away?
If you are in a non-reportable car accident and the other driver drives away, try to get their license plate number. If you can’t get the whole number, get as much of it as you can. You should also try to get a description of the car. This can be helpful for the police if they are trying to track down the other driver.
If you are able to get the license plate number and a description of the car, you should call the police and file a hit and run report. The police may be able to track down the other driver using this information.
Does Filing an Accident Report Help with Insurance Claims?
Filing a police crash report can sometimes help with insurance claims. However, it is not always necessary to file a written report in order for your claim to be processed.
If you are involved in a reportable car accident, the police will usually file an accident report. This report may be helpful to your insurance company when they are processing your claim. If you are involved in a non reportable crash, you may want to consider filing an accident report so that there is a record of what happened.
To file an accident report, you will need to contact your local police agency or the Department of Motor Vehicles and request a form. Once you have filled out the form, you will need to submit it to the police agency or DMV.
In some states, you may be able to file an accident report online. To find out if this is an option in your state, you will need to contact your local police department or the DMV.
Parked Car Property Damage
If you have been the unfortunate victim of having your car hit by another vehicle while it was parked, you’re likely interested in how to get the at-fault driver to pay your property damage claim. If the at-fault driver hit your car and ran and failed to leave contact or insurance information, you may be forced to contact your own insurance company. If you have collision coverage on your auto policy, it is quite possible that your insurance company will cover the damage.
You Hit a Parked Car? What To Do?
Many of us have had the unpleasant experience of an instance where we have backed into a car (no damage) or have tapped bumper (no damage) and wondered what to do. First, you will want to take photos of the area on the other car where your vehicle struck. If there is visible damage after all, you will want to leave your contact information and property damage liability coverage information under the windshield wipers of the other vehicle. The owner of the other car will then be able to collect parked car insurance coverage to cover the damage.
If there is in fact no visible damage, you will definitely want to make sure you take photos to confirm. You may also want to leave a note with your contact information explaining there is no damage and you’ve taken photos, but wanted to let the owner know about the incident. This protects you in case someone sees you hit the other car and reports your license plate.
Talk To an Experienced Virginia Car Accident Attorney
If you have been injured in a non-reportable minor accident, you may be entitled to receive compensation for your pain and suffering. To learn more about recovering these damages, contact a personal injury attorney today. They can help you understand the process and gather the evidence you need to support your claim. Don’t wait to get the compensation you deserve.
If you have been injured in a car accident, it is important to contact experienced personal injury lawyers as soon as possible. At the Ritchie Law Firm, we’re here to help guide you through the process and ensure that you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation. We’ll answer all your questions and help you decide if hiring a lawyer is the best option for you.
When another driver is responsible for causing your injuries in a car crash, the Ritchie Law Firm is here to help. The experienced, certified car accident attorneys at the Ritchie Law Firm will help you prove the other driver caused your injuries. DON’T GET HURT TWICE!! The Ritchie Law Firm will make them pay for their recklessness. We have helped thousands of injured people get the money they deserve.
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Ritchie Law Firm is a personal injury law firm devoted to helping individuals who have suffered serious and catastrophic injuries or lost a loved one as a result of someone else’s negligence. Ritchie Law Firm serves all of Virginia, while helping clients in cities and surrounding areas of Harrisonburg, Charlottesville, Staunton, and Winchester also serves clients in West Virginia, including Martinsburg, WV.