Tennessee Car Accident Report Basics

The aftermath of a car accident can be confusing for everyone involved. Whether there are injuries or not, one of the most important things you need to be concerned with is the car accident report. Most people never think of these reports until a crash happens, meaning they unfamiliar with crash report procedures.

These reports are important because they usually help establish who was at fault in the incident. Without an accident report, it can be hard to get compensation from the insurance companies. Today, we want to discuss the details of how to file a crash report and how to obtain the report after the crash happen.

Tennessee car accidents happen. During the latest reporting year in the state, there were more than 200,000 total crashes. Out of those, there were:

  • 48,056 injury crashes
  • 997 fatal crashes
  • 159,491 property damage only (PDO) crashes

Should I file a report for a minor car accident?

It can be tempting to not file an accident report if there are no injuries and only minor property damage. We want you to understand that failure to report a car accident in Tennessee, no matter how minor, could result in a driver’s license suspension.

Besides, a report in a minor accident could actually protect you in the long run from the other side saying there was more damage than the wreck actually caused. The last things you need is an at-fault driver filing a report with their insurance company saying you were the one at fault and caused enormous property damage to their vehicle.

After a minor car accident, call the police, take photographs of the scene, and be sure to file a police report as required by law.

How to file a Tennessee car accident report

For serious accidents, the police will likely be the ones to fill out and file the first accident report required. In fact, if any of the following conditions are present, you have to notify the nearest law enforcement agency:

  • Anyone is injured or killed
  • Property damage is over $50
  • Local ordinance requires reporting

Tennessee also required drivers to submit reports directly to the Tennessee Department of Safety if the accident results in $400 or more in property damage, or causes death or injuries. In those situations, drivers have 20 days to file a report. This report ensures that all drivers involved had insurance according to state law.

How to obtain a car accident report in Tennessee

To obtain the law enforcement accident report that was filled out as part of your crash, you need to figure out whether the report was filled out by the Tennessee Highway patrol or another law enforcement department.

  • If the crash was investigated by the THP, a driver can obtain the report for $4.00 from their THP district office. These reports can be purchased through the mail or by visiting the office in person. They are available approximately seven days after the date of the crash.
  • If the crash was investigated by a different law enforcement agency, the driver will pay $4.00 for the report, and it will also be available approximately seven days after the crash at the THP district office. Drivers can also contact the agency that investigated the crash directly to get the report from their office.

Contact us today to speak with a compassionate and experienced Nashville car accident attorney.