Car accidents do happen, unfortunately, and the hope is always that nobody will be seriously injured and that damage won’t be too severe. But many people just don’t know what happens if you don’t report a car accident. That’s not a question mark you want hanging over your head after an accident, so we’ve answered here for you.
After you’ve established the safety of those involved, it’s essential to get to work right away exchanging information, assessing damage, and reporting the incident. Many drivers wonder how important it really is to report an accident and what will happen if they don’t, so we’ve gathered the facts about why you should never skip accident reporting.
Knowing when you’re obligated to report an accident to the police
You don’t necessarily have to report every car accident that happens, and there are rules in place that will guide you. If, however, you’re in an accident that does have to be reported, then you must file a report at a collision reporting centre within 24 hours of the collision. Here are the instances in which you are obligated to report an accident:
- The combined damage to the vehicles exceeds $2,000 CAD.
- Government vehicles were involved.
- Property, other than the cars involved, was damaged.
- A pedestrian was involved.
- Somebody was injured.
- There was a criminal offence committed.
- One of the drivers was uninsured.
Consequences of failing to report an accident
There are many serious consequences that you could face if you fail to report an accident, including the possibility of being charged with leaving the scene of an accident. A driver who is charged with this could face fines as high as $2,000, with jail time, and a license suspension that could last for two years.
Beyond that, it’s also a good idea to report the incident just to be safe. If any damages or injuries crop up in the weeks and months following the accident, then you might not have any recourse. Most people just don’t realize what happens if you don’t report a car accident, but the results can be quite serious. Always report one when you’re involved.
Reporting car damage to your insurer is also a good idea for several reasons.
- Most insurers require that you report any and all damages from collisions or accidents anyway.
- You might discover damages to your vehicle after the fact.
- You might experience injuries that don’t show symptoms for days or weeks later, like a sore neck after a car accident.
What happens if you don’t report a car accident to your broker?
Auto insurance companies have different rules than police about accident reporting, and chances are high the policy states that you have to report any accident that occurs. No matter how minor the accident, damage, or injuries, it’s crucial that you notify your insurance company as soon as possible after you’re involved in an incident, and it will only benefit you in the end.
For one thing, if your vehicle insurance provider finds out about the accident from somebody else, then the car accident report could raise your rates they could increase your rates, or your policy could be cancelled altogether. Furthermore, you could find out later that injuries or damage were more extensive than you thought, and you might not be eligible for any medical coverage or repairs.
Reporting an accident to the police and to your insurance company is crucial if you don’t want to be charged or fined. You don’t want to find yourself in a position where you don’t have any coverage or assistance with medical bills or repairs should you need them down the road.
Beyond that, you might also find yourself facing higher insurance premiums or a policy cancellation, so it’s always best to follow proper protocol following any accident, and that means reporting it straight away to police and your insurer.