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What Happens If You Don’t Call the Police After a New Jersey Motor Vehicle Accident?

Will the Failure to Notify the Police Prevent You from Recovering for Your Losses?

what-happens-if-you-dont-call-the-police-after-a-new-jersey-motor-vehicle-accidentIt’s something that’s been drilled into us since we first learned to drive. If you are involved in an accident, the first thing you should do is call the police. Often, though, for a variety of reasons, neither party chooses to notify law enforcement authorities. You may be late for an important appointment. You may consider the damages insignificant. Will your failure to call the police have any impact on your ability to recover for losses sustained in the accident?

Does New Jersey Require You To Inform Police of a Motor Vehicle Accident?

Under certain conditions, yes. According to New Jersey Statutes Annotated (N.J.S.A) 39:4-130, a motorist must notify local police, county police, or state police “by the quickest means possible” after any accident that results in death or injury, or in damage in excess of $500. The legal obligation applies to any driver involved in the accident. When an accident that meets the criteria under the statute is not reported, both drivers may be subjected to suspension of driving privileges and potential fines.

Will the Failure to Report an Accident Prevent You from Filing a Civil Claim for Damages?

No. Liability for injuries suffered in a motor vehicle accident is based on the legal concept of negligence. While the police report may provide relevant information, it is not a prerequisite to recovering compensation in a lawsuit. Your claim may, however, be denied by your insurance company. Although you may eventually be able to recover for your losses in court, it can be a long and arduous process.

Contact the Law Office of Howard D. Popper

At the Law Offices of Howard D. Popper, we can help protect your rights. For a free initial consultation to discuss your options after any type of personal injury, contact our office online or call 973-993-8787 to set up an appointment. We have offices in Morristown and Newton.

We handle all personal injury claims on a contingent-fee basis. You won’t pay any attorney fees unless we recover damages for your losses.

Prior results are no guarantee of a specific outcome in your case. Your results may vary based on your particular facts and circumstances.