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What Should I Know About Reporting a Car Accident in Missouri?

A woman calls to report a car accident.

If you are involved in a car accident in Missouri and are unsure whether you need to report the collision, the following tips should help. The first thing to understand is that most auto accidents in Missouri must be reported to the police by law. However, you can be certain a car accident must be reported in the following circumstances:

● An accident that has caused more than $500 worth of property damage, a fatality, or injuries.
● An accident that involves an uninsured driver, whether it is on a highway, street, parking lot, etc.
● When hitting a parked or unattended vehicle and the owner is not present

The Missouri Department of Revenue requires you to report an accident to them if it occurred in Missouri, if it did so within the previous 12 months, and if any of the parties involved were uninsured. This is crucial because if the uninsured driver is determined to be at fault and charged with negligence, he will also be held accountable for driving without insurance. It is typically advised that you file an accident report as soon as possible, but you will have 30 days to do so. You might need to provide evidence for the delay in reporting the accident, such as a doctor’s note attesting to the fact that you were physically unable to do so if you do not meet this 30-day deadline.
Not sure if you need to report your car accident? Get a consultation by contacting Goldblatt + Singer, the St. Louis Injury Law Firm.

How To File a Police Report in St. Louis

If you have been involved in a car accident and a police officer does not show up at the scene after calling 911, you should report the collision by going to the closest police station or judicial office. In situations where there have been injuries or property damages, this is essential. However, filing a police report following a car accident is generally as simple as calling 911 and waiting for the responding officer to arrive.
Some motorists believe they may avoid increased insurance costs by not reporting a car collision. Drivers who are aware of their own fault, whether partial or total, should be especially concerned about this. This line of thinking should be avoided as it can cause the driver trouble in the future.

Do I Have to File a Report for a Minor Fender Bender in St. Louis?

First, even if it’s simply a minor collision, you should still report it. If there are no serious injuries or property damage, the law may not require you to call the police or submit an official accident report. However, you should always report such accidents to your insurance provider, even if you think they are minor. If you believe the damages will be small regardless, you might feel there isn’t much damage or that you don’t need the insurance company to cover them. Although you might not be aware, your car may have suffered internal damage due to the “small” collision. If you thought the collision was small and it was your and the other driver’s decision to keep it between you, you might have to pay far more than you had anticipated.

What may occur in such circumstances? You may overpay, you may not get your car fixed because you can’t afford it, or you or the other driver may file a claim with the insurance company later on only to be repeatedly questioned about your failure to report the accident in a timely manner. In some cases, this will have a negative impact on the number of damages you can claim, among other negative repercussions. This possibility underlines that the best course of action after an automobile accident is to simply report it in accordance with the law to prevent future complications.

Why Should I Report My Automobile Accident?

A significant benefit of reporting your automobile collision in Missouri is that the accident will be formally documented. Because the crash was recorded, the law will be on your side if you submit a claim after suffering injuries or property damage. As we will apply the at-fault system, this will support your claim when it comes to determining your contribution to the accident. Your prospects of receiving compensation may be harmed if there are injuries and it comes out that you failed to disclose the accident. Additionally, when you report an accident, you can determine who was responsible and to what degree. If you weren’t at fault, this could be quite helpful, as you’ll have the accident report from the police and the assessment of the officers that responded. Finally, if you adhere to the right reporting protocol, your chances of getting paid for whatever costs you may have incurred are likely to increase.

Remember that insurance providers are not always on your side. They are constantly seeking strategies to reduce their payout. If the other driver files an accident report and you don’t, your insurance company will undoubtedly learn about it. You may experience troubles due to this, and your rates may go up. As a result, report the accident to your insurance provider, even if it’s a minor one and even if you’re not legally obligated to do so.

Most people try to avoid causing another person any financial difficulty when filing any kind of claim or filling out any type of report with the police or local government, but knowing how to file a police report is always a crucial skill for Missouri drivers. Once you’ve been in an accident, submitting a report is as easy as calling the police. We advise you to notify the authorities as soon as possible after an accident (and after reaching a safe location away from danger).

Can You File a Police Report Online in Missouri

As technology progresses, more and more police departments are offering the option of online crime reporting to the public. However, not all municipalities offer online reporting, and when it comes to car accidents, online reporting should only be utilized under the following circumstances:

● A traffic collision occurred with no injuries, such as when a vehicle collides with an animal, road debris, or other stationary obstruction.
● A hit and run occurred. A vehicle accident occurred where one of the parties left the scene of the accident without providing required license, insurance, or vehicle information.

Typically, following a car accident, it is most efficient to simply call 911 to ensure that all of your bases are covered, a formal report is made, and you meet all of the legal requirements for reporting.

Consult a Missouri Car Accident Lawyer Right Away

Our car accident lawyers at Goldblatt + Singer, the St. Louis Injury Law Firm, are knowledgeable about Missouri’s laws governing auto accidents. In terms of what to report, how to report it, when to submit a claim, how much to claim, how your involvement in the accident will affect your case, how to negotiate with the other driver’s insurance company, etc., our legal experts can advise you. Call us right away with any questions or concerns at (314) 888-1000 or contact us online. Our staff is always willing to assist you should you need them.

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