If you are involved in a car accident, one of the most important steps you must take is to call the police to the scene – whether the collision is a minor fender-bender or serious multi-vehicle crash. Not only are you required to do so by law, but taking this step can protect your right to obtain financial compensation to cover your losses.
Reporting a Crash in Tennessee
According to Tennessee Code §55-10-106, if a car accident on a highway, a parking lot at a shopping center, apartment complexes, trailer parks, or any other place the public often frequent involves an injury, death, or property damage worth at least $50, you are required to report the collision to the local police.
Furthermore, under Tenn. Vehicle Code § 55-12-104, a driver involved in a car accident must report the collision in writing to the Commissioner of Safety within 20 days if a person suffered an injury or died, or the crash led to more than $1,500 in property damage. Failure to file a report within the 20-day timeline is punishable by driver’s license registration.
The Importance of Reporting a Car Accident
A police officer is considered a neutral third party who is responsible for conducting an unbiased investigation into the accident. A police report will include the date and time of the crash, the location of the collision, the damages to all vehicles involved, any injuries sustained by drivers or passengers, and statements from the drivers and witnesses at the scene.
The courts and insurance companies view police reports are credible evidence. Without a formal report, you may lose the ability to file an auto insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident in Chattanooga, contact Conner & Roberts, PLLC today at (423) 299-4489 for a free initial consultation. We have nearly 40 years of combined legal experience!