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A car accident may be over in an instant, but the paperwork and calls to your insurance company can take weeks. An important first steps in any accident is filing a police report. Without this document, settling a claim can get even more complicated. If you drive in Indiana, this guide will get you up to speed on the basics of Indiana car accident reports.
How to File a Car Crash Report in Indiana
This chart provides a summary of Indiana laws and procedures for filing a car crash report.
Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
Car Accident Reporting Rules in Indiana
The driver of any motor vehicle involved in a crash that results in injury or death, or total property damage of $1,000 or more, must immediately call the police. The easiest way to report the accident to the proper authorities is to dial 911. The state excludes off-road vehicles and snowmobiles from most of these reporting requirements.
If the accident involves an unattended vehicle or property, and the owner cannot be found, the driver must immediately contact the closest law enforcement agency. Intentionally failing to notify the property owner or the police may be charged as a Class B misdemeanor.
Filing Proof of Insurance Report After an Accident
After a "reportable" accident, each driver is required to complete and submit the Operator's Proof of Insurance/Crash Report within 10 days. The purpose of this report is to verify that each driver involved in an accident had state-mandated insurance coverage at the time of the accident. The form must be signed by your insurance agent or policy provider before it is submitted.
Failing to report a crash is cause for the suspension or revocation of one's driver's license and vehicle registration. Such failure or refusal is also a misdemeanor. When the driver is physically incapable of making the report, any occupant of the vehicle is required to do so. A witness may also be required to make a report, and a supplementary report will be required whenever an original report is insufficient.
Completing a Personal Accident Report in Indiana
Since Indiana law requires drivers to call 911 immediately after many car accidents, the state has no additional reporting requirements. However, even when both parties agree to settle without involving their insurance, an accident report is important for the following reasons:
- You may not immediately realize your injuries
- The damage to your car may be worse than initially thought
- The other driver(s) may make false claims, such as admitting fault but retracting the statement latter on
Creating a Personal Accident Report
Creating your own accident report doesn't need to be complicated. After an accident, Indiana law already requires you to stop and exchange information with the other drivers, so you should have everything you need. This checklist details some of the facts you report must have to be effective:
- Names, addresses and phone numbers for drivers and passengers
- Driver's license numbers of other drivers
- License plate numbers of vehicles involved
- Photos of the scene and the vehicles (even if it shows no damage)
- Car insurance information
- Names and badge numbers of police officers (to obtain Indianapolis accident reports)
Find an Indiana Car Accident Attorney
If someone was hurt or suffered significant property damages, it's a good idea to speak with an experienced attorney. Your attorney's role is to assess the amount of damages, determine available insurance coverages, and submit a demand to the at-fault party's insurance company or to your own insurer. Get started today by locating an Indiana car accident attorney near you.