Oklahoma car accident reporting laws involve strict requirements for all motorists. Failure to comply with these regulations could lead to serious legal consequences, including a hit-and-run charge, which may count as a felony in Oklahoma.
Do you always have to report a car accident at the scene, and do the rules differ if no one sustained injuries? The following information can help ensure you comply with the law if you ever suffer a car crash in Oklahoma.
Reporting Rules Differ According to Accident Consequences
Oklahoma car accident reporting requirements come into effect if the accident caused the following:
- A fatality
- Non-fatal injuries
- Estimated vehicle damage exceeding $300
The first two types of accidents usually require the involved motorists to report the accident immediately and stay on the scene until the police arrive (unless, of course, one of the drivers needs emergency medical help). Leaving the crash scene without reporting the accident is a crime that may get charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the extent of damage the accident caused.
If the accident involves no injuries, it’s usually acceptable to wait a couple of days before reporting the incident to the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety. However, it’s still best to report the crash as soon as possible since your insurance company may require an accident report to start the claim process.
The Legal Duties of Motorists After an Accident in Oklahoma
Any Oklahoma drivers who get involved in a car accident have a statutory duty to stop their vehicle and give reasonable help to any injured people on the accident scene.
The motorist must also exchange full and accurate information, including their name and address, registration number, driver’s license number, and insurance details, with the other driver(s) involved in the accident. Intentionally giving false information at an accident scene is a criminal offense.
Additionally, motorists must extend their full cooperation to any law enforcement officers who arrive on the scene.
Oklahoma Car Accident Reporting Laws for Minor Accidents
Oklahoma law doesn’t require motorists to report accidents that lead to no injuries and cause estimated vehicle damage of less than $300, provided all involved parties carried the mandated liability auto insurance.
However, even if you aren’t legally required to report an accident, it’s usually a good idea to file a report anyway. Sometimes, vehicle damage may exceed your initial estimate, or you may discover an injury a few days after the accident. A timely report will help back your insurance claim.
When To Call a Car Accident Attorney
Once you’ve completed your obligations of reporting the car accident and exchanging information with the relevant persons on the scene, it’s time to evaluate your accident case and find out whether you have grounds for a personal injury claim. An Oklahoma City car accident attorney can assess your case and help you:
- Source and present relevant evidence to back your claim
- Communicate with your insurer (or the other driver’s insurer) and handle all insurance claim documentation
- Advise you on other legal options, like filing a civil lawsuit against an offending motorist
Bryan Garrett, PLLC: 15+ Years of Handling Car Accident Cases in OKC
Did you suffer a vehicle accident in Oklahoma City? Call us at Bryan Garrett, PLLC. Our legal team can ensure you comply with Oklahoma car accident reporting laws, protect your rights, and walk you through every step of the car accident claim process.
For a free initial consultation with an Oklahoma City vehicle accident lawyer, call (405) 369-4498 or fill out our online form.