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Indiana Car Accident Reporting Laws

Indiana car accident reporting laws require you to alert authorities after a car accident occurs under certain conditions. Reporting your car crash will serve as evidence in your car accident claim if you decide to pursue compensation for your injuries. The Indiana car accident lawyers at Stein Law can help you comply with Indiana accident reporting requirements and recover compensation for your injuries or property damage.

If you’ve been in a car crash, reporting the incident is important. For one, Indiana car accident reporting laws require you to do so under certain conditions—failure to do so may result in penalties. Also, you must report the car accident if you intend to file an accident claim later on and recover compensation for your injuries.         

The Indiana car accident lawyers at Stein Law are ready to answer any questions you may have on how to report your car accident in New Albany and Clarksville. We can also help you recover compensation for your injuries from those whose negligence caused the accident. We offer a free consultation to help you explore your options.

Are You Required to Report a Car Accident Under Indiana Law?

Yes. Indiana Code section 9-26-1-1 requires that  you report a car accident to law enforcement as soon as possible if the crash meets any of the following criteria:

  • The crash caused injury or death.
  • The crash damaged an unattended vehicle or property other than a vehicle, and the owner cannot be contacted.

Also, you must submit proof of insurance to Indiana’s Bureau of Motor Vehicles after the bureau receives an accident report. The bureau will mail you a request for financial responsibility verification and you will have 90 days to respond. Failing to do so can result in the suspension of your driver’s license or the revocation of your car registration. 

Reporting your accident to the appropriate government unit will also help to prove liability in your personal injury case. Your insurance company may require you to report your accident within a specified period to qualify to file a car accident claim. 

Even in minor accidents with no legal obligation to report the crash, doing so is always a good idea and can help document the accident. It may also protect you if the negligent party turns around and blames you for the crash.

How Do You Report an Accident in Indiana?

Indiana car accident reporting laws require you to report your car accident to one of the following authorities as soon as possible: 

  • The local police department if the accident occurs within a municipality
  • The office of the county sheriff or the nearest state police post if the accident occurs outside a municipality
  • A 911 operator

If no one calls a law enforcement agency to the accident scene, you must file a crash report with the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles.

If the accident involves damage to an unattended vehicle or property other than a vehicle, you must take steps to locate the owner. However, if you cannot find the owner, you must contact a law enforcement officer or agency and provide your personal details.

Are There Penalties for Failing to Report a Crash in Indiana?

Yes. Failing to report a crash in Indiana could lead, at minimum, to a Class B misdemeanor charge, punishable by a fine of up to $1000 and 180 days imprisonment. The Bureau of Motor Vehicles may suspend your driver’s license and revoke your car registration.

The penalty for failing to report a crash varies: 

  • When there is a bodily injury, it is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for up to 1 year and a fine of up to $5,000.
  • When the crash involves serious injury, it is a level 6 felony punishable by imprisonment from 6 months to 2.5 years and a fine of up to $10,000 (Indiana Code section.
  • When the crash involves death or catastrophic injury, it is a level 4 felony punishable by imprisonment from two to 12 years and a fine of up to $10,000.
  • When the driver is intoxicated and a catastrophic injury or death results, it is a level 3 felony, punishable by imprisonment from 10 to 30 years and a fine of up to $10,000.

The experienced Indiana car accident lawyers at Stein Law can help you recover compensation for your injuries so you can focus on healing. Contact us to schedule a free consultation and discuss your next steps in filing your accident claim.

a policewoman filling a form for traffic offence

Police Report

If you are involved in an accident that causes an injury, you must report the crash to the New Albany police department. The report that the responding officer files will be essential to your compensation claim.

As a Driver, What Information Should I Include in My Accident Report?

As part of Indiana’s accident reporting requirements, your Indiana crash report must contain the following information:

  • Names, addresses, and phone numbers of drivers and passengers
  • License plate numbers and description of the vehicles involved
  • Driver’s license numbers of all involved drivers
  • Photos of the scene and the vehicles
  • All drivers’ car insurance information 
  • The time and place of the accident
  • Names and addresses of witnesses

What is the Responsibility of Indiana Law Enforcement in Filing an Accident Report?

The duty of law enforcement in a crash is to investigate and file a car accident report. When you or someone else contact the police after an accident, they will take notes about the accident scene and talk to witnesses and drivers. They will then write a report of what they believe took place.

The police report may not clearly identify who is at fault, but it can help prove who was at fault. Our car accident lawyers will gather other evidence, such as witness testimony and accident scene photos, to prove fault.

Are there fees associated with filing an accident report?

No. Filing an Indiana accident report is free, but there is a fee for receiving your own copy.  You can request a copy of your police crash report online for a $12 fee. Simply search for your accident report by your report number, your last name and accident date, or your last name and accident location.

You can also get a physical copy by visiting the appropriate police department office or requesting a copy by mail. You will have to pay a small fee per page for them to print it out for you.

Are accident reports confidential?

No. According to Indiana Code section 9-26-2-3, car accident reports filed by police officers are not confidential and are available to the public.

Our Experienced Car Accident Attorneys Are Ready To Help

Car accidents can be devastating and cause life-altering injuries. If you have suffered injuries in a car crash in New Albany or Clarksville, filing a car accident claim may help you recover compensation from the negligent party for your injuries. 

You can count on our award-winning Indiana car accident lawyers at Stein Law to fight for justice and your right to adequate compensation, even in complex car accident cases. We offer a contingency fee arrangement, meaning you won’t pay unless we recover compensation for you. Furthermore, the initial case evaluation is free, and there are no upfront costs. You have nothing to lose and potentially significant compensation to gain. Contact us to schedule your free consultation.