Car accidents happen every day in Indiana. A big part of law enforcement officers’ jobs is dealing with accident reports. Many accidents must be reported to the police right away. Insurance and other concerns might have different reporting requirements.
In Indiana, the law requires immediate reporting of an accident to law enforcement. This is not an issue for many drivers because they contact the police right away for emergency assistance. You or your insurance company must also report your insurance status to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) within 10 days. If you wish to file a lawsuit, you have 2 years to do so.
If you were in a car accident and have not yet contacted the police to report the crash, you could be facing legal trouble. Our Indiana car accident lawyers can help you. Call Wruck Paupore at (219) 322-1166 for a free case review.
Some car accidents involve more damage and injuries than others. As such, these kinds of accidents follow stricter rules for reporting. According to Indiana Code § 9-26-1-1.1, drivers in accidents involving death or serious injuries are required by law to report the accident immediately.
Under the law, drivers must immediately stop after an accident and remain at the scene. The law also states that drivers must report the accident as soon as possible by contacting the local police department or calling 911. If you have not reported an accident and are unsure how, contact our South Bend car accident lawyers for help.
The relevant statute does not mention a time limit when reporting accidents involving death or serious injuries. Instead, the law makes it clear that reporting should be done immediately if possible. If immediate reporting is not possible for some reason, it should be done as soon as possible. Failure to make an immediate report may lead to criminal consequences.
A reportable accident must be reported almost immediately. Failure to report an accident could result in criminal penalties. Contact our Fort Wayne car accident lawyers for help with criminal charges related to an accident. If you fail to report your crash or collision, you can be charged with leaving the scene of an accident. This offense may be a Class B misdemeanor and punished by up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. These charges may be upgraded under certain circumstances.
If an accident involved bodily injuries to another person, you would face Class A misdemeanor charges for leaving an accident. You would be sentenced to up to 1 year in jail and a fine of up to $5,000.
Suppose the accident caused moderate to serious injuries to another person or you had a previous conviction for certain driving-related crimes in the past 5 years. In that case, you face level 6 felony charges. Level 6 felonies come with a possible prison sentence of at least 6 months and up to two-and-a-half years with an advisory sentence of 1 year. You can also be fined up to $10,000.
An accident that causes death or catastrophic injury that goes unreported to the police can lead to level 4 felony charges. A level 4 felony can be punished by at least 2 years and up to 12 years in prison with an advisory sentence of 6 years. You can also be fined up to $10,000.
If you were intoxicated during the accident that caused death or catastrophic injury, your charges are for level 3 felonies. A level 3 felony may be punished by at least 3 years in prison and up to 16 years with an advisory sentence of 9 years. You also face a fine of up to $10,000. You can also be charged with a separate offense for each person injured in the accident. Contact our Milwaukee spinal injury lawyer for more information.
You will undoubtedly have to contend with your insurance company after a car accident. In Indiana, the Bureau of Motor Vehicles must be given proof of insurance shortly after an accident. There might be additional penalties for uninsured drivers. You must submit an Operator’s Proof of Insurance/Crash Report to the BMV within 10 days of receiving any notice from the BMV requesting proof of financial responsibility.
If you cannot file this report yourself – perhaps you are too injured after your accident – someone else can do it on your behalf.
Once you file your proof of insurance, you must contact your insurance company and have them submit a Certificate of Compliance (COC) with the BMV. The COC must state that the company insured you and your vehicle on the accident date. This must be submitted within 90 days of the BMV’s request for proof of insurance and is usually done electronically by your insurance company.
Failure to submit the COC may result in the suspension of your driving privileges. Contact a lawyer to avoid running afoul of any reporting requirements after a car accident.
As far as filing an actual claim with your insurance company for the accident, the amount of time you have depends on the terms of your policy. It is best to reach out to your insurance company as quickly as possible, but only after having spoken with a qualified attorney.
If you wish to file a lawsuit after a car accident in Indiana, you must do so within the relevant statute of limitations. According to Indiana Code § 34-11-2-4, you have 2 years from the date of your accident to file a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver. Failing to file your case by the deadline can cost you your right to file at all.
Although 2 years seems like a long time compared to the reporting deadlines mentioned earlier, it is much shorter than you realize. Many accident victims spend a long time recovering from their injuries before thinking about a lawsuit. They also try to get their damages paid through settlement negotiations with the insurance companies. This process eats away at your precious time. Our Hammond, IN car accident lawyers, can help you file your lawsuit on time.
Before filing your lawsuit, other reporting requirements should already be satisfied. You should report your accident to the police and your insurance before filing a personal injury lawsuit. A police report and insurance information might be important to your lawsuit.
If you were in a car accident and you are not sure if the accident was reported or have any other questions, contact our Indianapolis car accident attorneys for help. We help our clients file any notices and will determine if required reports were already made. Call Wruck Paupore at (219) 322-1166 for a free case evaluation.
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Don is a founding partner and one of the nation’s top-ranked personal injury litigators. He is a member of the Multi-million Dollar Advocates Forum, which includes less than 1% of the nation’s trial lawyers, and awarded the highest ranking given by Martindale Hubbel and AVVO.
More importantly, Don understands representing personal injury victims is about more than recovering the best settlement: it’s about helping clients get back on their feet and supporting them in every aspect of their recovery.
In nearly all cases, our clients seek compensation from the wrongdoer’s insurance company. Before forming Wruck Paupore, Jason worked for a prominent law firm representing some of the world’s largest insurers. This experience gives Jason a deep understanding of the insurance industry and the strategies it uses to pay injury victims as little as possible.
Jason -- and our entire team -- put this inside knowledge to work to force insurance companies to pay what is actually owed. Often, we use the insurance company’s own tactics against them as we fight for the full compensation our client deserves.
For more than four decades, Keith has been fighting for injury victims. During that time, he’s watched the insurance industry change, with insurers now more interested in protecting their stock price than treating injury victims fairly.
Since the beginning, Keith has put people first. From his childhood in Gary, Indiana during the 1960’s and working his way through law school, Keith has risen to become one of the Midwest’s most respected trial lawyers. He has never forgotten that being a lawyer is about helping people -- and seeing injury victims through struggles in a way that could change their lives forever.
Over the decades, Keith, Don and Jason have fought relentlessly for clients, even when other lawyers have said the case was impossible to win.