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Should I Report a Fender Bender to the Police?

On Behalf of | | Motor Vehicle Accidents

In the State of South Carolina, motorists are not required to report every minor accident on the road to the authorities – there is a protocol for car accidents that cause very little damage. It’s also important to keep in mind, however, that even fender benders can lead to considerable expense in terms of bodywork and repairs, and when a fairly low financial threshold is reached, it’s time to call the police. If you or someone you care about has been injured in a car accident, an experienced Charleston car accident attorney can help.

If The Collision Was Truly Minor

If you’ve been involved in a fender bender that resulted in less than $1,000 in property damage to both vehicles involved, it’s not necessary to report it – as long as no one was injured in the accident. In this situation, motorists are required to exchange contact and insurance information in order to proceed with a car accident claim as applicable.

At this juncture, however, it’s important to consider the big picture. The fact is that almost any amount of physical damage to your vehicle can easily exceed that $1,000 limit, and not all injuries – even serious injuries – present with symptoms from the outset. In other words, if you’re on the fence about whether or not to call the police, erring on the side of caution is advised.

Physical Injuries

Even a relatively minor car accident can leave you rattled, which leads to a rush of adrenaline that can mask pain and symptoms of physical injuries. To make things more challenging, there are certain kinds of injuries that can be slow to become symptomatic or whose symptoms can be elusive, including:

  • Soft tissue injuries, such as whiplash – which can lead to chronic pain and significant losses in terms of range of motion
  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can leave you feeling off without recognizing that you’ve been seriously hurt
  • Spinal cord injuries that can build to significant pain over time
  • Internal injuries that are more difficult to diagnose but can quickly become life-threatening

If you’ve been involved in a car accident that involved anything but the mildest impact, it’s always in your best interest to seek medical attention in order to rule out any serious injuries that may not be immediately apparent. 

Reporting Your Accident to the Police

In most cases – other than those that cause very little damage and in which no one suffers any harm – it’s a good idea to call the police. It’s required whenever anyone is injured or whenever the damage involved exceeds $1,000, and even a minor fender bender can quickly add up to far more than you’d expect. Further, reporting the accident and seeking medical attention help to bolster your car accident claim.

An Experienced Charleston Car Accident Attorney Is Standing by to Help

The compassionate Charleston car accident attorneys at Query Sautter & Associates recognize the gravity of hit-and-run accidents and will leave no stone unturned in their focused efforts to obtain just compensation for your physical, financial, and emotional losses. For more information, please contact us online or call us at 843-795-9500 today.