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What Happens If You Dont Report An Accident
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While defensive driving online and driver safety programs offer drivers the tools to remain safer, accidents happen. But when should you report an accident? Any accident involving bodily injury or causing at least $1,000 in damages must be reported within 10 days of the accident.

While the definitions of what is considered "bodily injury" is vague, online defensive driving course providers consider it to include any injury that limits quality of life or mobility, will alter your ability to perform any basic daily function (even for a short period of time), or one that requires medical attention. When in doubt, report the accident as soon as possible and allow the agencies responsible (law enforcement and/or insurance agencies) to sort out the details.

According to the Transportation Code of Texas, there are several possible outcomes for drivers either failing to provide an accident report or providing erroneous information. Failing to report an accident is considered a misdemeanor and is punishable by a fine “not to exceed $25.” This should not be confused with fleeing the scene of an accident. Collisions that involve damage or injury where a driver simply leaves the scene of the incident without exchanging information (where possible) and/or notifying relevant parties (property owners, law enforcement), are not exempt from (often severe) penalties.

Although this fine seems light, a driver’s insurance provider often reserves the right to cancel or decline coverage to an operator who fails to report an accident within the allowable timeframes, leaving drivers open to considerable liability in the event of a following collision. While not necessarily a common practice, drivers are encouraged to contact their insurance providers as soon as possible following an accident; even when the collision is not considered their fault.

A person who provides information that they know, or have reason to believe, is false, can incur serious penalties: a fine not to exceed $1,000, jail for up to a year, or both! Since 1996 driver safety course providers have been offering defensive driving online course materials that help drivers learn safe driving practices.

A Driver’s Options for Failing to Report an Accident

Unfortunately, while online traffic school programs are not able to help drivers facing this situation, they can help you avoid the pain in the first place. If you believe that you have failed to meet the Transportation Codes guidelines for reporting an accident, you are encouraged to seek counsel/legal advice (it beats moving out of the country and changing your name to Chuck).

Sources

Texas Transportation Code


Street Talk

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