While driving in Rhode Island may not be as crazy as driving in neighboring states such as Massachusetts, you're still at risk of getting in a car accident every time you hit the road. Therefore, it's important to know what your legal responsibilities are if such an unfortunate event does occur. From helping the injured to filing the right reports, read on to learn more about Rhode Island car accident report basics.
Rhode Island Car Accident Report Laws
The first steps to take after a car accident in Rhode Island are to stop, pull over, and render reasonable assistance to anyone who is injured. You must also immediately notify local or state police by the quickest means available if the accident caused injury, death, or damage to any vehicle. Failing to stop can result in serious punishments such as fines, license revocation, and substantial jail time.
If the accident involves injury, death, or damage to the property of any one person over $1,000, you must also file a report with the Rhode Island Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) within 21 days of the accident. This is the case even if a police officer responds to the scene, conducts an investigation, and submits their own required accident report.
How to File a Car Crash Report in Rhode Island
To file the DMV accident report, you can contact your local office for the appropriate forms. You'll need to provide personal identification information, the other driver's information, and a description of the accident sufficiently detailed to disclose the cause, conditions then existing, and persons and vehicles involved in the accident. You'll also need to provide information regarding your car insurance in accordance with the minimum state requirements.
Rhode Island Car Accident Report Laws at a Glance
The chart below provides a summary of state laws related to Rhode Island car accident reports, including links to important code sections.
Law Enforcement Notification Required
- Must notify police immediately if accident involves injury, death, or damage to vehicle preventing safe, normal operation
- Must submit written or in-person report to chief of police if accident involves injury, death, or total property damage to an apparent extent of at least $3,000
- Within 21 days after the accident
Who Must Report
- Every driver involved in the accident
- If driver is physically incapable of making report and is not the owner of the vehicle, the owner must file the report within 21 days of learning about 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.
Rhode Island Car Accident Report Basics: Related Resources
Have Questions About Car Accident Reporting Requirements in Rhode Island? Ask a Lawyer
While the state may be small, the consequences of a Rhode Island car accident can be huge. You may find yourself facing fines, an uncooperative insurance company, a lawsuit, and even criminal charges. Speak to a local car accident attorney today to make sure you've complied with Rhode Island car accident report laws and other legal obligations.