Failing to stop at the scene of an accident you caused and neglecting to report it to the state’s Department of Transportation can result in legal punishments, according to Nebraska Revised Statutes. Here’s what you’re required to do after you’re involved in a car accident, regardless of whether anyone was injured or killed in the crash.
Duty to Stop
State law requires you to stop at the scene of the accident immediately and exchange the following information with the other driver, occupants, or owner of the vehicle: your name, address, telephone number, and operator’s driver’s license number (or learner’s permit number).
If the accident resulted in injuries, you’re required to render “reasonable assistance” to any injured parties, which means transporting them to medical aid if you think treatment is needed or if the injured person requests it.
If you hit an unattended vehicle, you must stop and leave a note in a conspicuous place for the other driver, communicating the above information. Then, “without unnecessary delay,” you must report the accident to authorities either over the phone or to an “appropriate peace officer.”
Duty to Report the Collision
For accidents that occurred before Aug. 28, 2021, you were required to report them to the Department of Transportation within 10 days if they involved injury, death, or property damage of $1,000 or more. Since then, that property damage threshold has increased to $1,500. If you are physically incapable of reporting the accident immediately, you still must do so within 10 days.
You can complete a motor vehicle crash report in one of two ways:
- Online: Submit the electronic form at https://ecmndotportal.nebraska.gov/NDOT-CRASH-REPORTING5.
- Mail: Send the paper form accessible at https://dot.nebraska.gov/media/rggfgyxr/ndot41.pdf) to:
- Highway Safety, Nebraska Department of Transportation
- P.O. Box 94759
- Lincoln, NE 68509-4759
A police report will help with your car insurance claim, acting as evidence for your case, so make sure to request a copy of the report from law enforcement.
Along with filing a police report, be sure to take pictures of the damage and get the contact information of any witnesses who may have seen the collision. Also note the circumstances surrounding the collision, including the time of day, location, weather, and other pertinent information for your claim.