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Tennessee Car Accident Report Basics

One thing people may not teach you when you’re learning how to drive is what to do after a motor vehicle accident. Unfortunately, if you don’t take specific steps after your car crash, you jeopardize your personal injury claim. You may also face fines, jail time, and a suspension of your driver’s license.

In Tennessee, motorists must file an accident report regardless of the severity of the accident. Even if there is only minimal property damage, Tennessee law requires you to file a crash report. 

Here, we will discuss Tennessee car accident reporting basics. We will also explain how to file your report and why it’s crucial that you contact the police department immediately after the collision.

How To File a Car Crash Report in Tennessee

The chart below summarizes Tennessee's laws and procedures for filing a car crash report.

State Accident Statutes

When To Report an Accident


  • You must immediately notify the nearest law enforcement agency when:

    • An accident causes bodily injury or death

      • There is more than $50 in property damage 

      • The accident occurred in a city that requires motorists to report all traffic accidents

      • Your insurance company requires a crash report

      You have 20 days to file an Owner/Driver Accident Report when:

      • The crash causes personal injury or death

      • There is more than $400 in property damage 


Crash Reporting Filing

  • Owner/Driver Accident Report — Tennessee Department of Safety
  • Obtain a Crash Investigation Report — Tennessee Department of Safety
  • Crash Report — Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP)/Local Police Department/Sheriff’s Office

Note: Laws are subject to change, so verifying the information you read is essential by conducting research or consulting a Tennessee car accident attorney.

Tennessee Car Accident Reporting Laws

Technically, Tennessee law doesn't require you to report all accidents. However, the state accident reporting threshold requires motorists to report virtually all accidents.

According to Tennessee Code § 55-10-106, you must report all car accidents resulting in more than $50 in property damage to the local police. Section 55-10-107 requires that you report any accident with more than $400 in property damage to the Tennesse Department of Safety. Either way, these laws require people to report almost every motor vehicle accident.

When To Submit a Personal Accident Report in Tennessee

According to Tennessee law, you must submit an accident report for all accidents that cause more than $50 in property damage and ensure your report includes all necessary information.

At a minimum, your accident report must include the following information:

  • Name and contact information for all drivers and passengers
  • License plate numbers for all vehicles 
  • Name of the company holding the driver’s insurance policies 
  • Insurance information, driver’s license numbers, and vehicle registration numbers
  • Copy of the drivers’ Tennessee Financial Responsibility Law certificates
  • Summary of vehicle damage
  • Whether any of the accident victims require medical attention
  • Description of the scene of the accident

It is worth noting that personal identification information submitted in a vehicle accident report is confidential and unavailable to the general public. However, the reports are available to the parties involved in the crash.

You must file a report, regardless of whether you’re the at-fault driver. You must also submit your report in addition to any police report the investigating officer submits. This report aims to ensure all drivers have auto insurance in compliance with state law. 

The state may suspend your driver's license and registration if you don't file your accident report.

How To File an Accident Report in Tennessee

Each driver or vehicle owner must submit the Tennesse Department of Safety and Homeland Security accident report form. The form asks for information about the driver, the vehicle owner, and the driver’s insurance. 

You do not need to provide information about the other people involved in the accident. 

The Tennessee DPS or police officer will forward a copy of the report to your insurance company. They must mail the form to:

  • P.O. Box 945, Nashville, TN 37202

Filing a Car Accident Report? Get Help From a Tennessee Injury Lawyer

Car accidents are serious, especially if the crash causes an injury or significant property damage. The car insurance company's primary interest is to settle the claim for as little as possible. Rather than let that happen, seek legal advice from an experienced Tennessee auto accident attorney.

Your car accident lawyer will also ensure you meet the state’s auto accident reporting requirements. 

Additional Tennessee Car Accident Resources

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