Get a FREE Car Check

Reporting vs. Not reporting a car accident: Any differences?

Car Accident

Car accidents are common in the US and usually vary in severity. Despite that, not all accidents are generally reported to the authorities.

This is because many drivers think that they don’t have to report the accident if they don’t sustain any losses. However, this is wrong because not all injuries will show symptoms immediately.

It is important to visit a car accident law firm in your area immediately if you have been involved in an accident. In this article, you will learn the differences between reporting and not reporting a car accident.

The differences in reporting vs. Not reporting a car accident

Below are the main differences in reporting vs. not reporting a car accident from different perspectives:

Legal Obligations

  • Reporting: In several jurisdictions, all drivers are supposed to report accidents that involve property damage, death, or injuries. Failure to make these reports can lead to various legal penalties.


  • Not reporting: When you choose not to report a car accident and are legally supposed to, you can be subjected to fines and other charges. In some instances, you may get bad points on your driving record. However, this depends on the severity of the accident.


  • Reporting: A police report usually contains an official record of the accident. This includes the parties involved, witness statements, and statements from the officers on the scene. In other words, this document is precious for settling disputes. Sometimes, it can also be used to determine the fault.


  • Not Reporting: If you don’t report the accident, there may be no official documentation to assess the situation. In this case, your version of the event may not be valid. That is to say, the authorities may not believe you, thus hindering the compensation process and solving the dispute.

Insurance Claims

  • Reporting: Reporting an incident to the authorities can help complete the insurance claim. Most insurance companies always need a police report to help approve the final claim. This is mostly common in cases that involve significant injuries or damages.


  • Not reporting: If you choose not to report a car accident, it can significantly complete the insurance claim process. This may lead to potential delays or denials in the end. In worse cases, it may even cause disputes, mainly if the other party in the accident supports it later.

Minor Accidents

  • Reporting: You must also report minor accidents, mainly if they result in injuries. This helps with compensation and finding out who is at fault.


  • Not reporting: Most drivers choose not to report minor accidents, even when there are damages. In this case, they usually choose to solve the matter privately without the presence of the authorities. This move is dangerous and can lead to complications later.

Ethical Considerations

  • Reporting: Reporting an accident is not only a legal obligation. It is also an ethical responsibility that will benefit both parties later. In other words, it shows honesty, commitment, accountability, and respect.


  • Not reporting: Not reporting an accident is unethical because it shows irresponsible behavior. It undermines efforts to promote road safety and integrity in the driving community.

Assistance to Victims

  • Reporting: When you report an accident, you allow the authorities to assist the victims immediately at the scene. In this case, they can also provide additional towing services if needed. In other words, your report can ensure the victims promptly get assistance.


  • Not reporting: If you don’t report a car accident, you prevent the victims from getting the assistance they need. In this case, it could be injuries and other damages that are not immediately clear.


To sum up, the decision to report or not to report a car accident may involve several considerations. This includes ethical responsibilities, insurance implications, and other factors.

Thus, drivers must weigh these factors carefully before making their decision. Also, remember to hire a lawyer in the event of an accident. They can deal with the insurance adjusters and secure fair compensation for your losses.