If you are in a car wreck in Kansas City, Missouri, and you are wondering if you have to file a accident report here are some general guidelines as to consider to determine when you are required to and when you are not:
First of all, Missouri law requires reporting for most car accidents. Situations, when a car accident MUST be reported, include:
The accident should be reported to the Missouri Department of Revenue by filing an official car accident report .
Drivers are required by law to report the accident within 30 days. This time is allowed in the even a driver is incapacitated and unable too file a report at the time of the accident. It is generally recommended that you report an accident as soon as you are physically capable of doing so. You may have to justify the delay in reporting by including a doctor’s verification attesting to the fact that you were physically incapable of reporting the accident sooner.
Not sure if you should report your car accident? Contact Accident and Property Damage Lawyer McCollum Injury Law Firm for a consultation! We can help you file an accident report in Missouri.
In the event a police officer does not come to the scene of the accident or all parties involved in the accident are not in a position to take the driver’s information, the driver should report the accident by visiting the nearest police station or a judicial office. This is imperative in cases where there have been injuries or property damage.
Generally speaking, the Missouri Department of Revenue expects you to report an accident if the accident happened in Missouri, if it happened within the last 12 months and if someone involved in the accident did not have insurance. This is important because if the driver is uninsured and is found to be at fault, he will be held liable not only for negligent driving but also for driving without insurance. In Missouri, the uninsured driver will be held responsible based on the percentage of his fault.
Some drivers feel that by not reporting a car accident, they will be able to avoid any increase in insurance premiums. This is especially an area of concern for drivers who know they are at fault, partly or otherwise. However, this can lead to future problems for the driver.
First, even if it is just a fender bender, it is in your interest to just report it. The law does not require you to file an official accident report if there are no major injuries or damages. However, you should report such accidents to your insurance company, even if you feel that they are minor. You may think that there isn’t much damage or that you don’t need the insurance company to pay you for the damages because you think they will be minimal anyway. However, only a qualified auto mechanic will be able to determine what the extent of the damages are. You may not even realize that an accident that you thought was “minor” caused significant internal damage to your car. You may end up paying much more than you initially expected.
If this happens you could wind up paying too much or end up not getting the car repaired at all because you can’t afford it. Filing a claim with your insurance company at a later stage may lead to questions about why you failed to report the accident on time. In some cases, that may negatively affect the damages that you can claim. This entire situation highlights the fact that when in a car accident, your best strategy is to follow the rules and simply report it to avoid further hassles.
A very big advantage of filing an official car accident report in Liberty, MO is that the accident will be officially documented. In the event you have suffered injuries and/or property damage you can file a claim with your insurance company and the law will be on your side because the accident has been reported. Since Kansas City, Missouri follows the at-fault system, the report will be used to help determine what if any amount of fault you have to pay for the accident. If there are injuries and if it turns out that you neglected to report the accident, this could hurt your chances of getting compensation. Also, reporting an accident gives you the opportunity to establish who was at fault and to what extent. This can be extremely beneficial if you were not at fault since you will have the police report of the accident and you will also have the evaluation of the officers on the scene. Your chances of being reimbursed for any costs that you may have incurred are likely to go up if you follow the proper reporting protocol.
Keep in mind that insurance companies are not always on your side. They are always looking for ways to minimize their payout. If you don’t report an accident and the other driver reports it, your insurance company is bound to find out. This can create problems for you as well as result in a possible increase in premiums. Therefore, even if the accident is minor and even if you are not required to report it by law to the authorities; do report the accident to your insurance company.
At McCollum Injury Law FIrm, we have a team of attorneys who are well-versed with the laws governing car accidents in Missouri. Our legal team can guide you in terms of what to report, how to report, when to file a claim, how much to claim, the impact of your role in the accident on your case, how to deal with the other driver’ insurance company etc. Call us today at 1-816-474-2060 for any advice, query or concern. Our associates are always available to help you in your time of need.
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