Man filling out an accident report | Colombo Law

The Ohio accident reporting requirements must be followed closely by anyone involved in a crash. While not all accidents need to be reported to the police, failure to follow the law can lead to serious penalties. That is why anyone involved in an accident in Ohio should understand the requirements for reporting accidents.

Colombo Law is here to help. Below, we are going to review the applicable Ohio laws regarding when to report an accident, how long you have to do so, and what happens if you do not. We also take a look at why it is so important to report accidents and why you always should err on the side of caution.

If you have any questions about your legal situation following an accident, reach out to the Ohio car accident attorneys at Colombo Law for a FREE case review. Call us today at 614-362-7000. Our car accident lawyers serve clients in Columbus and throughout Ohio.

When Do I Have to Report an Accident to the Police?

In Ohio, the requirements for reporting an auto accident to the police are fairly straightforward. You must report the accident to law enforcement if it results in one or more of the following:

  • Personal injury
  • One or more fatalities
  • Property damage greater than $1,000

After you report the accident, the responding police officer is required to submit a written report of the accident within five days to the director of public safety.

Read More: Reporting a Car Accident to the Police

If you are unsure if your accident fits these criteria, we strongly encourage you to call the police to be safe. Always err on the side of calling the police to the scene of an accident in order to ensure that the facts and circumstances surrounding the accident are fully documented. If you and the other driver agree not to call the police, it could make it difficult to recover any compensation if you later realize that your injuries and damages are greater than you initially thought.

When Do I Have to Report an Accident to the Ohio BMV?

Generally, you do not have to report an accident to the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) if all parties are insured. The only case where you are required to file a crash report with the BMV is if you were in an accident with an uninsured driver. You can download the crash report form on the BMV website.

You will need to provide the BMV with at least three identifiers for the uninsured driver. These may include:

  • The name of the driver
  • Address
  • Date of birth
  • Phone number
  • Driver’s license number

The BMV also requires the uninsured driver’s license plate or vehicle identification number (VIN).

How Long Do I Have to Report an Accident in Ohio?

If you are in an accident that fits one of the above reporting requirements, you are required to immediately stop and exchange information with the other driver. Accidents resulting in injury, death, or more than $1,000 in property damage must also be reported promptly to the police.

You have six months from the date of the accident to file a crash report with the BMV if you are involved in a collision with an uninsured driver.

Read More: How Long Do I Have to Report a Car Accident?

What Happens If I Don’t Report an Accident in Ohio?

Failure to stop after an accident and provide the necessary information is a first-degree misdemeanor in Ohio. If the accident results in serious physical harm or the death of a person, a driver who fails to stop may face felony charges.

Motorists who leave the scene of an accident may also have their driver’s license suspended. If they do not provide proof of financial responsibility, the court may order the payment of restitution to victims who suffer economic loss. (NOTE: This is a criminal proceeding separate from any personal injury lawsuit you bring against the driver.)

Why Do I Need to Report an Accident?

Reporting an accident is important for several reasons:

  • First, it ensures that anyone who needs help after an accident gets it. Injuries from a car accident can be worse than they initially appear, so taking the time to make sure everyone gets the medical attention they need is important.
  • Second, reporting the accident will ensure everyone’s information is collected and exchanged. This will be important for any follow-up related to the accident, particularly when it comes to insurance claims and compensation.
  • Finally, you should always report an accident because it establishes and documents the facts of the situation. This includes details that could be important for bringing a claim against the driver who caused the accident.

Again, if you ever have any doubts about whether or not to report an accident, we encourage you to do so to be on the safe side.

Get Help with Your Ohio Accident Claim

At Colombo Law, we have an in-depth understanding of the Ohio accident reporting requirements. If you are unsure what to do after being involved in a car accident, truck accident, or any other incident on the road, we can help.

Our lawyers will fully investigate the crash to determine what legal rights you have. This includes the police report and the information you obtain from the other driver.

It is in your best interest to contact Colombo Law as soon as possible so we can prepare a strong case on your behalf. This enables us to start providing the legal support and guidance you need to maximize the likelihood of a favorable outcome.

by Colombo Law
Last updated on - Originally published on