Major or minor, car accidents in the state of New Jersey must often be reported, according to several laws. Those laws usually include reporting the accident to local, county, or state police agencies, as well as a report on the damages or costs incurred. If you are wondering whether or not you have to report your car accident in New Jersey, keep reading for more information.
Do You Have to Report a Car Accident in New Jersey?
If you’re a driver in New Jersey and are involved in a car accident, you’re obligated to report the accident if the situation means the following conditions: the collision resulted in a death or injury of any individual involved, or if the damages exceeded $500. You must report the accident to the local or county police departments or the New Jersey State Police.
After the collision, you must also file a written report about the accident. Though it is not legally required to file a claim with your insurance company, your policy may have stipulations about accident reporting. If you fail to notify your insurance company about an accident, they may deny you coverage for the claim.
How to Report a Car Accident in New Jersey
While New Jersey statutes do not tell you exactly when to report the accident, it is best to make the report as soon as possible. This could mean calling from your cell phone soon after the accident occurs or using another electronic device. Should you be unable to call by phone, it is best to visit the nearest police department—if the police have not arrived already. If your vehicle is totaled and inoperable, you can always report the accident upon returning home.
To file a written accident report, which is also required by law if the accident causes death, injury, or over $500 in damages, you can use the “Self-Reporting Crash” form, which is available from the New Jersey Department of Transportation. This must be done within 10 days of the accident.
The rules for filing a written report are found in section 39:4-130 of the New Jersey Statutes.
Because New Jersey is a “no-fault car insurance” state, you must report a car accident and file a claim in order to get compensation for financial losses and medical bills.
What Happens If You Fail to Report a Crash?
Since reporting an accident that caused injury, death, or $500 in damages is compulsory, you do not want to forget. In the event that you fail to report a car accident in a timely manner, you could potentially be fined up to $30 to $102, excluding court costs. Your driver’s license and vehicle registration may also be suspended for a period of time. However, failure to report an accident in NJ is not a points violation.
Leaving or Fleeing The Scene
Did you know that leaving the scene of a car accident you were involved in is considered a criminal offense in NJ? Abandoning the accident and failing to check on the other people involved carries a heavy penalty, especially if there were injuries, death, or property damage caused.
When there is property damage in a collision and you flee the scene, you could be convicted for up to 30 days in jail, a fine between $200-$600, and suspension of your driver’s license and registration. Plus, NJ adds 2 points to your driving record.
Was there an injury or death? You could be convicted for 3-5 years in prison, the loss of your driver’s license for 1 year, fines up to $15,000, and 8 points on your driving record. You can also expect up to $600 added to your current insurance rate.
Looking For Repairs After an Accident?
When you’re involved in a car accident in New Jersey and meet the stipulations of reporting the accident and making a claim, you’ll probably need repairs to your vehicle. If you’re in the southern New Jersey area, Elmer’s Auto Body can help you with any repairs or bodywork. We have been in business for 70 years and are a family-owned and operated business, so we are prepared to make the services we perform easy, convenient, and fast. We will provide you with the service that gets you and your vehicle up and running in no time. Call us at (856) 218-0202.