Car accidents can be unsettling. Some are minor, causing no damage or injuries. Others may have catastrophic consequences.
Whether you need to report every accident depends on the severity of the incident.
Virginia crash facts
During 2022, there were 122,434 car crashes reported in Virginia. These collisions caused 59,404 injuries and killed 1,005 people. If you are in a collision, you should understand the state’s reporting requirements.
Reporting obligations in Virginia
If a car accident results in death or serious injury, you must report it immediately. This ensures that law enforcement can conduct a thorough investigation and document the circumstances surrounding the incident.
You should also report accidents causing property damage over $1,500. This includes damage to vehicles and other property involved in the collision. Reporting such incidents helps in determining fault and settling insurance claims.
Failure to report some accidents to law enforcement within 24 hours may lead to legal consequences.
Exceptions for minor collisions
Not every car accident requires reporting. If the collision is very minor, with no injuries and minimal property damage below $1,500, you are not legally bound to report it. This is common in situations like fender-benders in parking lots or minor scrapes.
After an accident
In any accident, always assess injuries and seek medical attention if needed. Even if injuries seem minor at first, it is wise to consult with a healthcare professional to rule out any underlying issues. This is a priority regardless of reporting requirements.
Regardless of reporting obligations, it’s essential to remain at the scene of the accident until law enforcement arrives, especially in situations involving injuries or significant damage. Leaving the scene prematurely can lead to legal consequences.
Document your accident
Even in situations where reporting is not legally mandated, it is advisable to document the incident. Exchange information with the other party involved, including names, contact details and insurance information. Taking photos of the scene and any visible damage can also be beneficial.