How To Report A Car Accident In Nashville, TN

If you or somebody you care about has been involved in a car accident, one of the most important things you can do is report the accident to the appropriate authorities. However, there is often confusion about when a car accident needs to be reported in Nashville. Under Tennessee law, nearly all accidents need to be reported in one way or another. An accident report both provides police with the information they need and helps when you need to recover compensation through a settlement. Contact a Nashville car accident attorney if you’ve been in a car crash in Tennessee.

When does an accident need to be reported in Tennessee?

Every state has laws that determine when a car accident needs to be reported. In Tennessee, there are strict reporting requirements. Any Tennessee car accident that involves the following must be reported to law enforcement officials:

  • any personal injuries
  • death of any person involved in the accident
  • property damage that exceeds $50
  • it required to be reported by your insurance company

When we look at those requirements, we can see that nearly every accident that occurs needs to be reported to the police. Most car accidents cause more than $50 of property damage.

Additionally, there are requirements for an accident to be reported to the Tennessee Department of Safety. The Department of Safety classifies certain accidents as “reportable,” and anyone involved in these kinds of accidents must report them to the DOS within 20 days of the accident occurring. A reportable accident is one in which the following occurs:

  • any personal injuries
  • death of any person involved in the accident
  • property damage that exceeds $1,500

Forms for reporting this accident are available online, at a local law enforcement agency, or at a local Highway Patrol office. Failing to report an accident within 20 days of the occurrence could lead to a person’s driver’s license and/or registration being suspended.

It is important to note that the report to the DOS is required regardless of which party was at fault for the accident. This report must also be submitted in addition to any report filed by the police officer at the scene. This differs from some states in which parties involved in the accident do not have to file their own reports if the police do so.

Adequate insurance

The state of Tennessee requires that those involved in an accident show proof of adequate car insurance unless they have notarized releases from every person involved in the accident releasing them of such requirement. The state will accept your claim of financial responsibly in one of the following ways:

  • proof of insurance from the auto insurance company
  • posting a surety bond or cash in an amount that covers all damages

If a person involved in the accident cannot show proof of insurance or post the bond or cash to the DOS, their driver’s license and vehicle registration will be revoked. The license and registration will only be reinstated after the insurance company files an SR22 form on the person’s behalf.

In Tennessee, drivers must carry the following insurance to remain legal on the roadway:

  • Bodily injury liability: $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident
  • Property damage liability: $15,000 per accident

Uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage and uninsured motorist property damage coverage are not required and can be rejected in writing at the time a person obtains their insurance policy.