Determining when to file a police report after a collision in Oklahoma can help you avoid civil and criminal repercussions. But the question that then arises is, “How long do you have to report a car accident?” To answer that question, our Oklahoma City car accident lawyers answer everything you need to know about car accident reports in Oklahoma.

How Long Do You Have To Report a Car Accident in Oklahoma?

In Oklahoma, you are required to report most car accidents immediately. Even if it isn’t required by state law, it’s recommended to contact the police after any collision. 

Assuming it is safe and practical to do so, remain at the scene until authorities arrive and tell you to leave the site of the crash. 

That said, if you can remove your car from the roadway while you wait for police to arrive, that is allowed under Oklahoma law, so long as you stay near the incident location, such as in a nearby parking lot. 

Once the responding officer submits their report of the accident and completes the review process, you’ll be able to purchase a copy of it. You’ll need one in order to file a claim with the insurance company and seek civil damages with the help of an Oklahoma car accident lawyer. 

What Is the Process For Reporting an Accident To Police After the Fact?

If you didn’t report the crash to the police when it happened, you need to do so as soon as possible. The same rule applies if you are in an accident while operating a motorcycle. Contact the local police department of the area where the collision occurred, and be prepared to provide details of the accident, including the time, location, and any other relevant information. 

Remember, delaying your report can complicate insurance claims and may even lead to legal repercussions. On that note, the police department will likely ask why you delayed filing a report, so you must ensure you have a valid reason. 

When Should You File a Police Report After a Car Accident?

You should file a police report whenever there is visible damage, injury, or death resulting from the accident. Even if the damage appears minor, you need to file a report, as it’s far better to have an official document of the incident in case you need it. 

Filing a police report provides an official record of the incident, which is essential for insurance purposes and any legal issues that may arise. That said, you may be hesitant to file a report for minor damages, especially if distracted driving played a role in your collision. Nevertheless, it’s better to risk a traffic citation as opposed to criminal liability for failing to report an accident. 

What Happens If I Don’t Report a Car Accident in Oklahoma?

If you don’t report an accident, you could face civil penalties and criminal charges. In Oklahoma, you may be legally required to report any accident that involves at least $300 of damage to a vehicle or the injury or death of another person. 

The severity of the consequences will vary depending on what happened. For instance, failing to report a minor fender bender may only carry misdemeanor criminal charges, whereas failing to report a crash involving death could lead to prison time, even if you aren’t at fault. 

Always file a report if someone was hurt or property was damaged. That’s the best way to protect yourself from added liability. 

Car Accidents Happen — Make Sure You Know Your Responsibilities

No matter how careful you are, accidents happen; the most important thing is what you do next. Familiarize yourself with Oklahoma laws and your obligations when operating a motor vehicle. When in doubt, report the car accident to the authorities and seek legal representation so you can protect yourself in the aftermath of a crash. 

Contact Our Car Accident Lawyers at Laird Hammons Laird Trial Lawyers for a Free Consultation

For more information, please contact an experienced car accident lawyer at Laird Hammons Laird Personal Injury Lawyers to schedule a free initial consultation today. Our law office is located in Oklahoma City.

We proudly serve Oklahoma County, OK and its surrounding areas:

Laird Hammons Laird Personal Injury Lawyers – OKC
1332 SW 89th St,
Oklahoma City, OK 73159
(405) 497-0480