Car accidents are an unfortunate reality of life. The immediate aftermath of an accident is often chaotic. If you have been involved in an auto accident in Delaware, you may find yourself wondering what steps to take next. It's a good idea to understand your legal obligations, such as when you are required to report the accident to a local police department. Read on to learn more about how to file a car crash report in Delaware.
When is an Accident Report Required?
Delaware state law sets forth certain circumstances in which motorists involved in an accident are obligated to report it. In addition to stopping after an accident and exchanging information, you are required to report an accident if it causes injury or death, property damage exceeds $500, or any driver appears to be under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.
Delaware law also places an obligation on car mechanics to make a report when it is clear that some sort of incident has occurred with a car brought in for repairs. If a garage or repair shop sees evidence of a "serious collision" or a car struck by a bullet, it must report the vehicle to a police station or sheriff's office within 24 hours of receiving the car.
The following chart provides more information about filing a car accident report in Delaware.
|Delaware Code Section 4203
When to Report
An accident must be reported if:
- It resulted in the injury or death of any person
- The accident occurred on a public highway and resulted in property damage to an apparent extent of $500 or more
- It involves a driver whose physical ability is impaired by the use of alcohol and/or drugs
A motorists involved in an accident must complete and submit an Accident Form to the Delaware Department of Motor Vehicles if the accident:
- Results in death or injury
- Occurs on a public highway and results in property damage of $500 or more
- Involves a driver under the influence of drugs or alcohol and results in property damage of $1,000 or more
How to Report
Accidents must be reported to the police agency which has primary jurisdictional responsibility for the location in which the collision occurred
Failure to report an accident is punishable by a fine of $25 to $75 for first offense, and $57.50 to $95 for repeat offenses
Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
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After Filing a Car Accident, Consider Professional Legal Help
If you're struggling to recover financially, physically, and emotionally after a car accident, there are resources available to you. Depending on your circumstances, it may be a good idea for you to speak with an attorney about your possible recovery for a car accident. Get started today and contact a Delaware motor vehicle accident attorney near you.