In August 2014, Woodland Hills personal injury attorney, Barry P. Goldberg, published an immensely popular Article “Fail to File the Right Document after your Accident-Lose Your License.” That Article is still widely read and very popular on the Internet getting literally hundreds of reads every month. It turns out that the public (and some lawyers!) are greatly confused about reporting accidents to the DMV as required by law. Most clients are shocked when they learn that they could lose their licenses after an accident—even if they were not at fault and even if they had sufficient liability insurance!
Alert! The law has been modified slightly effective January 1, 2017 and the DMV is rejecting outdated forms! This could have devastating effects if you or your lawyer file the WRONG FORM. To our surprise, we have received a “rejection notice” from the DMV on a perfectly timely reported accident for one of our clients—- because we filed on an existing form when the new form was not available!
If YOU fail to file the NEW SR-1 Form with the DMV—YOU get your license suspended for one year! No excuses accepted!
Incredibly, the only differences on the form itself is that the dollar amount has changed and a new date is in the lower corner of the document. Why is this incredible? Well—formerly, the law required that traffic accidents on any California street, highway or private property must be reported to the DMV within 10 days if there was an injury, death or property damage in excess of $750.
Effective January 1, 2017, the law requires that traffic accidents on any California street, highway or private property must be reported to the DMV within 10 days if there was an injury, death or property damage in excess of $1000!
So, the DMV figures that it cannot determine for certain whether the SR-1 Form was filed because there was an injury or that the amount of the property damage was sufficient. That would mean that the DMV has real concerns whether the old forms filed might be for property damage between $750 and $999. Because the DMV is sending out rejection notices, it is critically important to file on the new form or re-file if you previously filed on the wrong form.
For personal injury attorney, imagine the upset of your client entrusting you to file the proper form and the client’s license gets suspended for 1 year! For people handling their own claims, might as well do it correctly on the correct form,
Of course, if you are confused or uncertain about your reporting requirements, do not ignore the law and risk losing your license. Consult promptly with and experienced personal injury attorney right away.