If you’ve been involved in a motor vehicle accident in New Jersey, you may wonder how long you have to report your accident if you and the other motorists involved did not call law enforcement or your insurance companies at the scene of the crash. Timely reporting an accident you’ve been involved in to the authorities and to your insurance company is often necessary to getting the benefits and compensation you are entitled to from insurance. Continue reading to find out how long you have to report an accident to the insurance company in NJ.
Reporting an Accident to the Authorities
In New Jersey, the law requires that motor vehicle accidents meeting certain conditions be reported to the authorities. This requirement can be satisfied either by contacting local law enforcement or the state police from the scene of the accident, or filing a crash report form with NJDOT after the accident.
Accidents must be reported if they involve:
- Bodily injury
- More than $500 in apparent property damage
Qualifying accidents must be reported to the authorities within 10 days following an accident. If an accident that is required to be reported is not reported to the state, drivers and passengers in the vehicles involved in the crash can be fined and even have their vehicle registration or driver’s license suspended for failing to report the accident.
Notifying Your Insurance Company
In addition to reporting an accident to the police or to NJDOT, you should also timely report the accident to your auto insurance company, even if you don’t think you were responsible for causing the accident or if you don’t think you suffered any injuries or property damage. The amount of time you have to report an accident is set forth under the terms of your insurance policy, and can be anywhere from 10 days to 30 days following an accident (although this deadline may be relaxed if you are physically unable to report the accident to the insurance company).
Most insurance companies have toll-free numbers or mobile applications that you can use to report an accident from the scene of the crash.
What Happens If You Don’t Timely Report an Accident to the Insurance Company?
If you don’t timely report an accident to your insurance company, under the terms of your policy your insurance company may be entitled to deny you coverage for the accident. For example, your insurer may be entitled to deny personal injury protection coverage due to your failure to timely report the accident (even though PIP coverage is considered “no-fault” coverage). More importantly, failing to timely report an accident to your insurance company may render you ineligible to file a claim for uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, which you may need if the at-fault driver doesn’t have sufficient insurance coverage to fully compensate you for your losses. If it turns out that you were at fault for the accident, your insurer may also decline to cover your liability to the other drivers and passengers involved in the accident.
Insurers contractually require their drivers to timely notify the company of accidents so that the insurance company can thoroughly investigate a crash before important evidence is lost over time.
Contact a Woodland Park Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Car Accident Case in New Jersey
Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to a car accident in New Jersey? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Camili & Capo, PA represent clients injured because of car accidents in Paterson, Clifton, Passaic, Wayne, and throughout New Jersey. Call (973) 834-8457 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 1 Lower Notch Rd, Little Falls, NJ 07424.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.