Have you been struck by another driver in Missouri? In the stressful hours and days after the wreck, you’re probably wondering what to do next, including whether you must report the accident to the police.
Do you have to call the police after an accident? Almost always, yes, you should. Missouri law requires all car accidents that meet certain conditions to be reported. These tips can help you understand your responsibilities after a vehicle collision. Keep reading for more from a St. Louis car accident lawyer.
Missouri car accident reporting requirements
If no one is hurt and there is no property damage after a car wreck, then you probably don’t need to report a car accident in Missouri. Missouri requires car accidents to be reported to the Missouri Department of Revenue (DOR) if it happened within in the state in the last 12 months, if one or more of the parties were uninsured, and if one of the following circumstances apply:
- The accident caused bodily injury or a fatality
- The accident caused more than $500 worth of property damage
This requirement also applies to the situation where a driver hits an unattended or parked vehicle and the owner is not present. An uninsured driver may face criminal penalties.
Although you have 30 days from the accident date to report the accident to the DOR, it’s usually best to file the report as soon as you can. If you miss the 30-day deadline, then you may have to provide the DOR with a good reason for the delay, like a doctor’s statement that you couldn’t report the accident because your injuries were too extensive.
When should I call the police after a car accident in St. Louis?
As soon as you can, from the scene of the wreck if possible.
Calling 911 protects you. You get immediate medical attention, which improves your chances of recovery. And, a St. Louis law enforcement officer arrives at the scene to organize witness statements, ensure that you and the other driver get information exchanged correctly, and take down all the important information, like road and weather conditions.
The responding officer also files an official police accident report, reporting the accident for you, but you still have to report it to the DOR.
What should I do after getting into a car wreck?
Your health and safety come first, so try to move the car out of traffic. If you can, try to exit the vehicle and seek safety by the side of the road.
- Call 911
- Exchange information with the other driver
- Take photos or a video of the accident scene and your injuries
- Get medical attention and save all your medical records
- Consult with a skilled St. Louis car accident lawyer
What are the consequences of not reporting a car accident in St. Louis?
Your license can be suspended if you fail to report an accident to the Missouri DOR.
If you leave the accident scene and don’t report it, you can be charged with a hit-and-run, meaning felony charges, high fines, and jail time.
Your insurance company also requires an accident to be reported, even if you didn’t cause it. If you don’t report the accident, then you risk your policy being canceled.
Have you been involved in a car accident?
If you’ve been harmed in a car accident you didn’t cause, the experienced St. Louis car accident attorneys at Langdon & Emison are prepared to fight for your rights and can pursue the maximum settlement for your case. Contact us today at (866) 931-2115 for a free case consultation.