What we will do for you: In those instances in which there has been a single-car accident or accident with another vehicle and/or there is injury to a third person who was involved in the collision, we assist our client in resolving that aspect of the case as well. This not only involves issues concerning (1) probable cause as it relates to the criminal side of the case as in the situation where the officer did not observe our client “driving;” but may involve (2) an insurance carrier wrongfully denying coverage because the accident is deemed “intentional” and, as such, the client is excluded from coverage; as well as those cases in which (3) an alleged victim seeks recovery from our client and we want to resolve this accident claim as early as possible as it is important in the case of “restitution,” which the Court requires in the underlying case. Our team of Personal Injury Lawyers that handle accident cases on a regular basis gives us the insight to focus on and achieve a global resolution for our DUI clients.
A Timely Report Must Be Filed With the DMV
Vehicle Code section 16000 (a) states as follows: “The driver of a motor vehicle who is in any manner involved in an accident originating from the operation of the motor vehicle on a street or highway, or is involved in a reportable off-highway accident, as defined in Section 16000.1, that has resulted in damage to the property of any one person in excess of $750, or has resulted in bodily injury or death of any person shall report the accident, within 10 days after the accident, either personally or through an insurance agent, broker, or legal representative, on a [SR-1] form approved by the department, to the office of the department at Sacramento, subject to this chapter [emphasis added]. The driver shall identify on the form, by name and current residence address, if available, any person involved in the accident complaining of bodily injury.
Therefore, it is important for you to immediately contact your insurance carrier to file the report (this is a SR-1 form) within the 10-day period with the DMV or to provide you with the form so that you can file it directly with the DMV during the 10-day period.
If Injuries Are Involved in Your DUI Arrest
Always request CHP or the police to prepare an accident report. Vehicle Code section 20008 (a) states: “The driver of a vehicle, other than a common carrier vehicle, involved in any accident resulting in injuries to or death of any person shall, within 24 hours after the accident, make or cause to be made a written report of the accident to the Department of the California Highway Patrol or, if the accident occurred within a city, to either the Department of the California Highway Patrol or the police department of the city in which the accident occurred [emphasis added]. If the agency which receives the report is not responsible for investigating the accident, it shall immediately forward the report to the law enforcement agency which is responsible for investigating the accident.”
Consequences of Failing to File a Report With the DMV
Vehicle Code section 16070 (a) states as follows: “Whenever a driver involved in an accident described in Section 16000 fails to provide evidence of financial responsibility, as required by Section 16020, at the time of the accident, the department shall, pursuant to subdivision (b), suspend the privilege of the driver or owner to drive a motor vehicle, including the driving privilege of a nonresident in this state.”
Vehicle Code section 16070 (b) states: “Whenever the department receives an accident report pursuant to this article that alleges that any of the drivers involved in the accident was not in compliance with Section 16020 at the time of the accident, the department shall immediately mail to that driver a notice of intent to suspend the driving privilege of that driver. The department shall suspend the driving privilege 30 days after mailing the notice, unless the driver has, prior to that date, established evidence of financial responsibility at the time of the accident, as specified in Section 16021, with the department. The suspension notice shall notify the driver of the action taken and the right to a hearing under Section 16075.”
The DMV can restrict your license to drive for one year if you fail to file the required SR-1 form. Hence, it is important you follow up with your insurance agent and/or go to the DMV yourself to be certain the SR-1 form is filed. If you did not have insurance at the time of the accident, the DMV can suspend your license up to four years [after the first year, however, you can re-instate your driving privilege if you show proof of insurance].