Under Texas transportation laws, drivers involved in an accident are mandated to report an accident to the local police or sheriff’s office, depending on the accident scene location. This responsibility especially holds where the accident has resulted in injury, death, or significant vehicle damage.
Failing to report an accident can have severe repercussions on the result of any subsequent compensation claims. Nonetheless, it is not unheard of for some drivers to shun this mandatory requirement and cover up a crash.
Here is a review of how an unreported car accident can impact your case. If you have been injured in a crash, talk to a Houston Car Accident Attorney about filing a police report and compensation claim.
There are a variety of reasons why a driver would decide against reporting a car accident. The most commonly cited one is the lack of pain or injury symptoms. In some instances, the at-fault driver will convince you to let them settle any losses you might have suffered without involving the authorities.
Here is why an unreported car accident is not worth the risk:
In some cases, reporting a car accident is required by law. This includes situations where the accident resulted in bodily injury, death, or property damage amounting to at least $1,000. Car accident victims who don’t file a police report are expected to submit a complete Driver’s Crash Report within 10 days of the crash. Failing to do this could result in jail time, a fine of $5,000 or more, or both.
There is no legal requirement to report an accident that causes no injuries or apparent property damage. Failure to report an accident, however, can have serious repercussions later.
Immediately after an accident, the shock and adrenaline release might block your perception of pain. You might not present any injury symptoms for hours, days, or weeks after the crash. This might lead you to put off reporting your accident.
If your injuries appear later, this failure in your part could undermine your compensation claim. The at-fault party could argue that your injuries are not related to the accident as you did not report them earlier. This could make it difficult for you to establish causality.
You can file a claim without a police report. However, the process will generally be longer and more complicated. The insurer will likely take their time processing your claim. Because of the lack of evidence, they might even deny it.
A police report, however, is an official document detailing the circumstances of your accident. It includes insurance information, evidence collected, and witness statements, and contact information.
All you need to do is send a copy to your insurance adjuster to get started on your claim.
The at-fault party in a car collision has every reason not to report a crash. However, as a victim, an unreported car accident can lower your chances of getting compensated for your losses significantly. This means that you might be forced to cover your medical costs and property damage out of pocket.
A Houston Car Accident Attorney can help you build a strong case. However, you have to do your part by first reporting the accident to the local authorities.
If you have any questions regarding this matter, contact Husain Law + Associates, P.C., to schedule a consultation with an expert.