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Nebraska Car Accident Report Basics

Even though Nebraska drivers get into fewer crashes than drivers in other parts of the country, you still need to know the rules of the road. According to the Nebraska Department of Transportation (NDOT), there is an average of 33,000 auto accidents yearly. More than a third of them cause serious injuries.

After an accident, the law requires you to pull over and exchange information with the other involved parties. You must also follow some basic rules for Nebraska car accident reporting.

Here, we’ll discuss Nebraska’s accident reporting requirements. We’ll also explain how to file an accident report. Finally, we will discuss why the police report is crucial to your car accident case.

How To File a Car Crash Report in Nebraska

This chart summarizes Nebraska laws and procedures for filing a car crash report.

State Accident Statutes

Nebraska Vehicle Code § 60-699 - Reports required of operators

Nebraska Vehicle Code § 60-696 - Reporting accident with unattended car/property

Reporting a Crash to the Police

  • Call the police immediately when:

    • Anyone involved in the crash suffers a personal injury or death

    • There’s total property damage of $1,500 or more

Filing a Crash Report

  • You must file your report within 10 days of the accident. File a report with the DMV when:

    • The accident results in bodily injury or death

    • There’s more than $1,500 in property damage 

Crash Reports

Note: State laws are subject to change through new legislation, higher court rulings, ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information, consult a Nebraska car accident lawyer or conduct legal research to verify your state’s laws.

When To Report a Car Accident to Police

In Nebraska, you don’t have to report a minor car accident or call the police to the accident scene. However, Nebraska law requires you to immediately report auto accidents or crashes that result in more than $1,500 in property damage. The same is true for accidents that cause physical injuries or fatalities.

You must also promptly notify law enforcement if you hit a vehicle or other private property, such as a fence. If you don’t, the state may suspend your license or charge you criminally for your behavior.

It’s important to remember that even though you don’t technically have to call the cops for a minor accident, you should still call 911. Your Nebraska auto accident attorney will need a copy of the police report to prove your claim. 

If you don’t call the police, you won’t have any documentation related to the crash. All you’ll have is the word of you and the other driver. The other motorist will likely say that you caused the collision, jeopardizing your insurance claim and making it nearly impossible to collect civil damages.

What Information Does the Police Report Contain?

It’s crucial that you call the police immediately after your accident. Even if the crash seems minor, you have no idea if your injuries are serious until you see a doctor. You could learn that you need surgery or long-term physical therapy. Your mechanic may tell you that there’s damage to your engine in addition to cosmetic damage.

Ideally, when you submit your accident claim, the insurance company will pay it without issue. But this isn’t always the case. The insurance adjuster may deny your claim or offer partial payment. If this happens, you may need to sue the at-fault driver for damages.

If you sue, your Nebraska personal injury lawyer will need the law enforcement officer’s police report. This report contains vital information related to your motor vehicle crash.

Some of the valuable information in the report includes:

  • Description of the accident scene, including vehicle damage
  • Description of the road and weather conditions
  • Eyewitness statements
  • Contact information for the drivers, passengers, and witnesses
  • Whether the other driver violated any traffic laws, such as driving above the speed limit
  • The name of injured persons, including the nature and extent of their injuries

When you submit a claim with your own insurance company, they’ll expect a copy of the police report. The other driver’s car insurance carrier will also expect a copy. 

Do the Police Always Make an Accident Report?

Police don’t always prepare an accident report when they respond to a crash scene. Nebraska law only requires police officers to file a report when an accident results in injury or death or more than $1,500 in property damage. You must file the report yourself if you’re in a minor fender-bender. 

Regardless of who prepares the crash report, they must file it with the Accident Records Bureau of the Department of Roads within 10 days of an accident. If the police issue the report, it will become a public record. You can purchase a certified copy of the report for a fee. 

When requesting a report, you need the following information:

  • Accident date
  • Accident location, including county
  • Driver’s name

How To File an Accident Report

If you’re in a collision involving injury, death, or more than $1,500.00 in property damage, you must complete the Driver’s Motor Vehicle Accident Report form DR41. The report form is available online or at your local police department. You must file this report within 10 days of your accident.

The report has two sections. In the first half, you must provide a statement and diagram explaining what happened. The second section helps establish your insurance coverage at the time of the accident. 

You must sign the form and mail it to:

Highway Safety – Accident Records Bureau

Nebraska Department of Transportation

P.O. Box 94669

Lincoln, NE 68509-4669

Keep a copy of the report for your records. Your attorney will need it to pursue your claim.

Consider Speaking With a Nebraska Car Accident Attorney

Nebraska drivers must carry liability insurance in case of an accident. However, things can become complex when there's significant property damage or personal injuries. The insurance company may deny your claim outright. Or the other driver may not have insurance, leaving you to file a claim with your uninsured motorist policy.

Nebraska car accident attorney can deal with the insurance company on your behalf. They’ll also ensure that you report the crash correctly and on time.

Most importantly, your personal injury lawyer can help file a claim for damages and get you the compensation you deserve.

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