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Is Reporting a Crash Mandatory in California?

Friday, May 26, 2017By Richard Alexander

In California, the law is very clear on what you have to do if you are involved in an accident. If you hit a moving vehicle, pedestrian, parked vehicle, or someone's property, you must stop and exchange information with the other person or risk being charged with hit-and-run.

The law takes hit-and-run cases very seriously and imposes heavy penalties. Depending on the kind of injuries or damages you've caused, you are liable to be fined, jailed, or both. It is possible that you might even have to forfeit your driver's license.

Reporting the accident to the CHP or the police

If you've hit property, such as a parked vehicle, try to find the owner of the property or vehicle. If you are not able to locate the owner, leave your name, telephone number, address, and insurance details at a place where the property owner or vehicle owner/driver can easily find it.

As soon as possible, call the California Highway Patrol (CHP) or another appropriate police agency and inform them about the accident. Most times, an officer will arrive at the scene and conduct an investigation. Sometimes, for various reasons, the officer may not come to the accident location. In that case, visit your local CHP office or police station and make a written report about the accident.

The three kinds of report every driver involved in an accident must make

First, you must report the accident to the CHP or the police. Next, you must report the accident to your insurance company. Third, you have to report the accident to the Department of Motor Vehicles within 10 days in two circumstances: (1) either vehicle sustained damages of more than $750; or (2) someone was killed or injured in the crash. Contact your insurance company, the police, the CHP, or the DMV office and ask for the Report of Accident Form (SR-1).

Reporting the accident to 911

Don't forget to contact 911 as soon as you collect your wits after the crash. Explain your condition to them and give them the exact location. This will help the police respond faster. Do tell the operator if you need a fire engine or an ambulance. Don't hang up after you give this information. Stay on the call until the operator says you can hang up. The bottom line is that reporting a crash is compulsory in California.

The experienced accident lawyers at Alexander Law Group, LLP have the skills and experience to assure that you receive the compensation you and your family deserve for any damages you have suffered in an accident. Delay can result in the permanent loss of personal injury rights. Don't put it off. Contact us online or call now: 888.777.1776.

While the results that we have obtained in other cases and our clients' testimonials do not guarantee, promise or predict the outcome of your case, we do promise to do our very best for you in your case.

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