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When to Report a Car Crash in Michigan

Legally Reviewed and Edited by: Terry Cochran

According to a study in Michigan in 2017, the average time it takes to report an accident is 12.86 days. The necessity of contacting an auto accident attorney during this time increases each day due to the amount of paperwork, legal requirements, and desire for peace of mind.

What are the Steps to Reporting a Crash?

Michigan is a “no-fault” state for car insurance, and that means drivers involved in an accident are entitled to benefits from their own insurance company. What it also means is that the drivers in the accident are responsible for reporting the accident as soon as possible no matter who was at fault. Any serious accident must be reported to the police. However, it is best to be aware of reporting procedures whether or not the police are involved.

If there is more than $1,000 in property damage, then you must report the accident. Your car accident attorney can assist you in determining this if you are unsure what damage can be considered.

If there is a person injured or killed as a result of the accident then you must report it immediately. In addition to the police it may be a good idea to contact other a car accident attorney who can ensure your protection.

If a driver hits a parked vehicle and the owner of that vehicle cannot be contacted, then this has to be reported regardless of the amount of damage. The law in Michigan requires that an unattended vehicle that is struck by another, causing damage, must be reported to the police. Failure to do so could result in additional fines.

In some cases, a driver may crash into a building, or even a stop sign, and this is considered unattended property. This must also be reported. The police should be notified.

If a driver is in an accident and takes the car to a mechanic without reporting it, the mechanic is required by the law in Michigan to report the accident. This is another situation that might require the advice of a car accident attorney if you wait too long before taking this step.

When You Should Draft Your Own Report

Even if you are unsure about the need for an accident report, it is usually the best decision to file one. There are several reasons for this. Sometimes the police are unavailable, and you will need a record of the events. If you have a car accident attorney, he or she will want to have as many details as possible. Also, your insurance company will want accurate information before they will pay a claim.

Reporting a Car Crash

What to Include in the Report

  • Describe the crash as clearly as possible and include details about the people who were riding in the cars.
  • Make sure all the insurance information for all those involved is documented.
  • If there are any witnesses, get all their information and their accounts of the accident.
  • Write down as many details of the accident that you can and describe injuries.
  • Most insurance companies will require a diagram of the accident scene.
  • The smartphone now makes is possible to take photos at the scene and even videos of witness testimony.

Final Note

A car crash is more than just a fender bender. There is probably more than $1,000 in property damage to the cars and possible injuries to passengers. A good protection against the property and possible medical claims resulting from such a serious situation is to consider the experienced services of a car accident attorney at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. Call our law firm on 866-MICH-LAW for a no obligation consultation. We never charge a fee unless a recovery is made.

Disclaimer : The information provided is general and not for legal advice. The blogs are not intended to provide legal counsel and no attorney-client relationship is created nor intended.

Tim is a writer and editor who earned his Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from the University of Maryland and calls Washington, D.C., home after spending most of his adult life in the country's capital. Although Tim spent most of his post-college years in the restaurant industry, he became interested in writing about legal matters after he recently moved to Colombia. Today, Tim writes professionally about medical malpractice, drug policies, and workplace injuries. Tim is focused on curating his freelancing career and plans to work remotely for as long he can.



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