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News Stories

Do I Have to Report an Accident to the DMV in California?

Vehicle accidents are not uncommon, but determining what happens right after an accident occurs can be confusing. Most people understand that they have to report vehicle accidents, but who do you report the accident to? Do you call the police and then be done with reporting the incident, or do you need to report the incident to the DMV yourself?

California Car Accident Reporting Requirements

There are various steps that you need to keep in mind if you have been involved in an accident. You should always stop as soon as you know a collision has occurred because failure to do so could result in a hit-and-run charge. If anyone has been injured, or if there is an obstruction of the roadway, you need to call 911 and report the incident to the local police or the California Highway Patrol (CHP).

If you or somebody involved has sustained injuries, the number one priority is seeking medical treatment. Even if you do not feel much pain right after an accident occurs, we strongly encourage you to seek medical care and let a doctor determine the extent of any injuries.

One of the most important things for you to remember is that just about every accident must be reported to the California DMV. When we turn directly to the DMV website, we can see that that collision must be reported under three circumstances:

  1. A life was lost due to the accident
  2. Anyone was injured in the accident
  3. There was more than $1,000 in property damage caused by the accident

The California DMV says that regardless of who was at fault for the incident, any parties involved our required by law to report the crash through a Traffic Accident Report SR 1 within 10 days from the date the accident occurs.

In order to completely fill out this form, you will have to provide various information regarding the incident. This includes how and when the accident occurred, where it happened, your name and driver’s license number, vehicle information, insurance information, as well as any information you have about property damage.

When filling out the accident report form for the DMV within 10 days, it is important to note that this form is required to be filed in addition to any report made by police officers or your insurance carrier. You are allowed to fill out this form, as can your legal representative or insurance carrier.

Working With an Attorney

If you or somebody you love has been injured or sustained property damage in a vehicle accident, you may need to work with a skilled attorney to help with your case. A San Bernardino car accident lawyer can use their resources to fully investigate every aspect of your claim, gather the evidence needed to prove liability, and work with insurance carriers to recover any compensation you may be entitled to. If another driver caused your accident, you may be entitled to various types of compensation, including coverage of your medical bills, property damage expenses, any lost wages, pain and suffering damages, and more.