Following an automobile accident, the state of California imposes a strict reporting requirement to the drivers involved. While many individuals (especially those who have suffered personal injuries) are rightfully concerned about other matters following an accident, have forgotten about their obligations, or are simply unaware of their duties under the law, failure to report an accident with the state can result in license suspension (see California Vehicle Code 16004[a]). Under California Vehicle Code Section 1600, the driver of an automobile involved in an accident involving at least $750 in property damage or personal injury to any person must report the accident (SR-1 Form) within 10 days following the accident. Your personal injury attorney will be able to handle this reporting requirement on your behalf should you need assistance with complying.
It is very common for your insurance company to fill this documentation out for you and submit it to the appropriate state agency. However, it’s not a good idea to assume this is being done for you. Always follow up with your own insurance adjuster handling your claim and inquire into whether this was done. The last thing you want is to think this was taken care of but then realize it wasn’t and learn that your driving license has been suspended. Typically, but never a guarantee, your insurance adjuster will contact you to let you know they have complied with this requirement on your behalf and may send you a copy of the form they filled out. The Department of Motor Vehicles takes this reporting requirement very seriously, but will, in all likelihood, reinstate your license as soon as compliance is determined, assuming there is no other reason for them to keep your license suspended.
We will fill out this information for our clients and see that it is received by the appropriate agency should our clients need to comply with this rule.