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Do I need to file SR-1 form for fender bender?

Los Angeles, CA |

I was involved in a fender bender. We exchanged all info and insurance, but did not call police. There were only a few scratches to each of our cars. His car had preexisting key scratches and other mishaps that he admitted were his fault from prior incidents. We both walked out of the accident cordial to each other and in good health. The other driver was young, but I could tell he was trying to see how much money he could get from insurance. He stated that directly. A few days later, my insurance calls me and states that his attorney is filing a personal injury claim with my insurance. I think this is a little fishy. Should I seek the aid of an attorney? Must I file the SR-1 form if he is claiming injury on a fender bender when we both walked away in good health?

The damage on my car was much less than $750, as I only have a tiny dent. I do not know how much the other driver's damage costs, but there was only a small scratch on top of the fender.

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Attorney answers 6

Best Answer

In California, the Financial Responsibility Law requires that an SR-1 form should be submitted to the DMV where: (a) there is more than $750 of property damage resulting from the collision; (b) anyone is injured (now matter how minor); [ or (c) there is a resulting death.] In this case, the other party is claiming injury through his attorney. As noted above, your insurance co. can (and is contractually obligated to) advise you on this matter and will assign an attorney to handle defense of the claim if necessary. Often, your insurance company or agent will even file an SR-1 form for you if there is a claim. I would check to see if they did submit the SR-1 on your behalf and if not, I would do so myself-- so that you do not have a problem with the DMV. Just indicate on your SR-1 that you were not injured, and that you believe the property damage is only minimal.


Contact a local attorney. They will have the best knowledge besides the DMV.

Randy Sevenish is licensed to practice law in the State of Indiana. The laws of your jurisdiction may differ and thus this answer is for informational and educational purposes only and is not to be considered as legal advice. Since all facts are not addressed in the question, this answer could change depending on other significant and important facts. This answer in no way constitutes an attorney-client relationship. Please speak with a local attorney to discuss your potential legal issue.


Let your insurance company handle this question. If the other driver has retained an attorney, they will likely file one anyway.


Your insurance company will automatically hire an attorney to represent you (them really, as it is their money that will be spent). They will tell you anything you need to do. Keep any photos you have of the crash, and write down anything you remember about it NOW, you will forget it later, and these things can take years.

licensed attorney in Montana. Your specific state laws may be different.


Your insurance company will resolve this, so don't lose sleep over it.

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Craig Franklin Castle

Craig Franklin Castle


As you probably now already know, the California DMV requires that you submit an SR-! form when you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident and: (a) there is more than $750.00 of property damage; (b) anyone is injured [no matter how minor]; and/or (c) anyone is killed. I agree that your insurance company should take care of this for you, as they have a contractual duty to protect your rights. Check with your insurance company to see if they did submit an SR-1 Report on your behalf, as you want to make sure you comply with the Financial Responsibility Law. [ Just state on your SR-1 that there is less than $750 in property damage, + you were not injured. ]


Since the damage was under $750, then you do not need to file the SR-1. However, your own insurance company may file it for you either way.

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