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Do I have to report anything after a car accident?

Though it's always a good idea to call and notify your insurance company as soon as possible following a car accident, most other reporting requirements are handled by police who respond to the scene of an accident. In some cases, however, drivers in New Hampshire may decide not to call authorities in the event of an accident.

Perhaps a very light fender-bender occurs in a parking lot or on the side of the road. In such cases, individuals involved may exchange information and not call the police. It's a must to call authorities, however, in any major accident and especially any accident that involves injuries.

If police respond to an incident, the officer will complete a report and file it with the New Hampshire Division of Motor Vehicles. The report filed by the police is called the State of New Hampshire Uniform Police Traffic Accident Report. According to the DMV, law enforcement agencies can take several weeks to process and file the report, which may impact the speed of an insurance claim.

If police do not respond to an accident for any reason and the damage involved to property or vehicle exceeds $1,000, then the operator of the vehicle must file an Operator's Report with the DMV. The Operator's Report can also be filed in addition to a police accident report, especially if the operator is attempting to speed up the reporting process to file an insurance claim.

Not only do some drivers have the responsibility for filing a report regarding a car collision, but they can also receive a copy of the accident report. Working with a legal representative to request all documentation related to an accident may be the first step in preparing a personal injury claim for damages.

Source: New Hampshire Department of Safety Division of Motor Vehicles, "Financial Responsibility > Accidents and Crashes" Aug. 22, 2014

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