In New Jersey, all car accidents that cause injury, death, or a certain amount of property damage must be reported. If the police aren’t called to the scene of your accident, you are tasked with filing your own report.
To report your own car accident, you must submit Form SR-1 to the government within 10 days of the date of the accident. It is important to meet this deadline because you may find it difficult to obtain compensation without official documentation that covers your accident. Accident reports also contain critical identifying information about other parties that may be lost or forgotten otherwise.
Your financial recovery for damages from a car accident is too important to leave to chance. Get competent, resourceful assistance today from the New Jersey car accident attorneys at Legal Care New Jersey, starting with a free initial case evaluation when you call our offices at (732) 838-9769.
Who Is Responsible for Filing a Car Accident Report in New Jersey?
New Jersey law requires that people who are involved in accidents on the roadways of New Jersey must report their accident to the authorities. Any accident that results in death, bodily injury, or over $500 of property damage must be reported, one way or another. You can satisfy your legal obligation by either calling 911 and alerting the dispatcher to the accident or by filing your own self-report form later.
At Legal Care New Jersey, we strongly recommend that you opt for the first option, so that the police can handle the paperwork while you deal with the fallout of the accident. However, we also recognize that there are many instances where the police are not called to the scene of the accident for whatever reason. If you didn’t have a police officer at the scene of your accident, you must file your own report with the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT).
Filing Deadline for Self-Reporting a Car Accident in New Jersey
If you are filing your own report for a car accident in New Jersey, you must do so within 10 days of the accident. If you miss this 10-day deadline, the government of New Jersey may not accept your self-report, and you could be without official documentation to support your subsequent insurance claim or lawsuit.
10 days is a relatively short period of time to force a person to act after experiencing something as traumatizing as a car accident. If your injuries are creating difficulties that affect your ability to meet the self-report deadline, ask your Newark car accident attorney for assistance in preparing and filing the report with NJDOT.
How to Self-Report a Car Accident in New Jersey
To file your self-report for your own car accident in New Jersey, you must submit Form SR-1 to NJDOT. The form contains space for you to include details about the parties and vehicles involved, the circumstances of the accident, the environment where the accident occurred, and the damages that resulted. You can also include the estimated cost to repair these damages or to replace destroyed property.
You should complete Form SR-1 and submit it by mail to the address listed on the form. You have the option to submit any supporting evidence to your mail, such as pictures of the scene. If there were more than two vehicles involved or more than two injured parties, you will have to use an additional copy of the form. You are only required to fill out the form to the best of your ability, but if you are having trouble with some of the questions or struggling to estimate damages, you can consult your Elizabeth, NJ car accident lawyer on how to properly represent the accident in your report.
How Can You Get Access to a Car Accident Police Report in New Jersey?
Whether you self-report your accident or have the police officer at the scene file a police report, you will have to obtain a copy of the report from the government body that receives it in order to file an insurance claim. If you self-report, you will have to go through the NJDOT, but if a police officer files your report, you should first identify the department to which the officer belongs.
Each police department has different rules about how you can obtain a copy of your official report. If a state trooper was responsible for filing your report, you may have to go through the state’s official online portal. Typically, you will have to pay a small fee to obtain a copy of your official report, but paying the fee is a small price in comparison to what you stand to recover in an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit.
Why Do You Need a Car Accident in New Jersey?
Besides being a legal obligation, reporting your car accident to the authorities will be critical for your recovery efforts. For one thing, insurance companies are much more likely to deny claims for injuries in unreported car accidents. Having your official report to substantiate your claim will go a long way in getting you the compensation you deserve.
Your accident report will also serve as the basis for your lawyers when they prepare to file your lawsuit. The information contained in the accident report will be used to identify all parties involved and to assign fault for the accident, a critical consideration in any car accident injury lawsuit.
Injured in a Car Accident? Legal Care New Jersey Is Here to Help
Our Jersey City car accident lawyers can help you at every stage of your search for justice after a negligent driver caused the accident that hurt you. To get a free initial case evaluation, call Legal Care New Jersey today at (732) 838-9769.