There are certain requirements that all drivers face after a car accident in Tennessee. Some of those requirements include calling 911, exchanging insurance information, and reporting the accident to the Department of Safety (DOS). These expectations are designed to protect both drivers by giving each person a fair chance at obtaining the information they may need for a personal injury claim. They are also designed to inform the state about local car accidents. Consider hiring a Tennessee auto accident lawyer if you suffered injuries from a car accident caused by someone else.
Necessary Steps After a Tennessee Car Accident
The first thing you should do after moving yourself and anyone else involved out of the way of traffic is call 911. Some people may not see the importance of calling 911 for minor accidents. However, Tennessee requires drivers to report any car accident that causes personal injuries and property damages. Police are trained to assess the accident scene, injuries, and property damages for their police report. You will need a police report copy for your insurance company if you wish to seek compensation.
Exchange information with the other driver, but if the other driver is seriously injured, use basic first aid assistance until paramedics arrive. Avoid moving them if you see stab wounds or suspect a broken back or neck. Any wrong move with these types of injuries could worsen their condition and this could be held against you in court. Try to stop the bleeding if you can and cover them to keep them warm.
The information you will want to exchange includes:
- Name, address, and phone number
- Driver’s license number and vehicle registration
- Car insurance name and phone number
Reporting to the Tennessee DOS
Everyone is required to report to the DOS within 20 days after the accident. If you fail to report within this time, you may lose your driver’s license or your car registration could be suspended. You are only required to report the accident if:
- Death or injuries resulted
- Property damage expenses reached an excess of $1,500 to people’s property
- Property damage exceeds $400 for state or government property
Prepare to provide information regarding injuries suffered by you and anyone else involved in the accident. You will also be asked about any property damages that resulted, whether you have insurance, and information about your insurance company if you are insured. After a complete submission, you will be asked to show proof of insurance. Failing to show proof of insurance can result in the same penalties as not submitting a DOS report.