According to the Highway Safety Office, more than 70,000 car accidents occur in Oklahoma each year. Most are the result of speeding or distracted driving. Since statistics show that most people will be in a car accident at some time in their lives, it’s important to know what to do after a crash occurs. This includes understanding your basic responsibilities for car accident reporting in Oklahoma.
How to File a Car Crash Report in Oklahoma
This chart provides a summary of Oklahoma laws and procedures for filing a car crash report.
|State Accident Statutes
|Reporting a Crash to Police
- Immediately call police when a person injured or killed in a crash
- Not required to call the police if only property damage occurs
|Filing an Accident Report
|You much file a report with the Dept. of Safety when:
- Any person is injured or killed
- There is more than $300 in damage to any one person’s property
- A settlement has not been reached within 6 months of the accident
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.
When to Notify the Police of an Oklahoma Car Accident
Oklahoma law requires drivers to immediately notify their local police department, the county sheriff’s office, or the nearest State Highway Patrol office if a car accident results in any deaths or injuries. The most efficient way of notifying the proper authorities is to dial 9-1-1 and have them dispatch an officer to the scene.
When an accident only causes property damage, different rules apply. In these situations, drivers are required to remain at the scene, exchange information, and provide reasonable aid, but are not required to notify the police. Similarly, police do not need to be called when a driver hits an unattended vehicle or property, such as a fence or parked car.
When is a Driver Responsible for Filing a Crash Report?
Oklahoma law requires drivers to properly insure their vehicles. Unfortunately, not everyone follows the law. If you were in an accident with an uninsured driver and you have not been compensated for your injuries or property damage, you need to file a report with the Department of Public Safety.
The report will require you to list personal information about the other driver, such as their date or birth, so be certain to take good notes at the scene. If the other driver is not freely sharing their information, call the police immediately. Law enforcement will respond to non-injury accidents when the parties are not cooperating.
Local Car Crash Reporting Rules
Depending on where the crash occurred, you still may need to file a report after a non-injury accident. For example, when the City of Tulsa stopped responding to non-injury accidents, they created a system for drivers to self-report their accidents. An incident report number will be created so your insurance company can process a claim.
In Oklahoma City, a non-injury accident can be reported by calling the non-emergency number for the police. If an officer is available they can come to the crash scene and make a report of the accident. The City of Oklahoma City Police Department can be reached at 405-297-1000.
Drafting Your Own Accident Report
While Oklahoma law doesn’t compel drivers to report non-injury accidents, it’s still a good idea. A police report can provide an impartial record of the accident scene. Even when the police respond to the scene, you should still draft your own accident report to keep in your records. It’s also likely your insurance company will want to know what happened before paying any claims. Record the following information for your accident report:
- Name and insurance information of everyone involve
- Names of witnesses and their detailed accounts of the crash
- Details about damages and injuries
- Draw a diagram of the accident scene
- Photos of damage and video statements
- Write a description of the crash, including how many people were in both cars
Get Legal Help to Better Understand Oklahoma Car Accident Reporting Requirements
Even a minor traffic collision can turn into a nightmare. For instance, the other party could try to change their story after the accident, or the insurance company may dispute the claims. Having an experienced car accident attorney on your side can help you protect your rights throughout the settlement process. Speak to a local car accident attorney to understand how the law applies to the facts of your case.