Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

How Much Time Do You Have to Report a Car Accident in Each State?

How Much Time Do You Have to Report a Car Accident in Each State?

Car accidents can be a hassle for a number of reasons. The potential harm to the driver and passengers of each vehicle is obviously the biggest concern, but the harm to the vehicles, and the ensuing insurance dealings are also a pain. To top it all off, a lot of times accidents occur in the middle of the road, and you have to worry about getting the cars out of the way of traffic.

All these other things to worry about can sometimes hide the fact that most accidents need to be reported to the police. Drivers are legally required to report all accidents that result in injury or notable damage to personal property. Even if none of these things occur, it’s a good idea to report an accident, in case injuries show up later, or the owner of the vehicle you collided with does not comply with your insurance agreement, or files false claims against you.

Because of this, you should always consider reporting a car accident. However, there is a limit to how long you can wait after the accident occurs before reporting it. That limit changes from state to state, so be sure to look at this list and familiarize yourself with the deadline for reporting an accident in your state.

The time you have to report an accident in each state

  • Alabama: 30 days
  • Alaska: 10 days
  • Arizona: Accident must be immediately reported over the phone
  • Arkansas: 90 days
  • California: 10 days
  • Colorado: Accident must be immediately reported over the phone
  • Connecticut: Accident must be immediately reported over the phone
  • Delaware: Accident must be immediately reported over the phone
  • Florida: 10 days
  • Georgia: Accident must be immediately reported over the phone
  • Hawaii: Accident must be immediately reported over the phone
  • Idaho: Accident must be immediately reported over the phone
  • Illinois: 10 days
  • Indiana: Accident must be immediately reported over the phone
  • Iowa: Accident must be immediately reported over the phone
  • Kansas: Accident must be immediately reported over the phone
  • Kentucky: 10 days
  • Louisiana: Accident must be immediately reported over the phone
  • Maine: Accident must be immediately reported over the phone
  • Maryland: 15 days
  • Massachusetts: Five days
  • Michigan: Accident must be immediately reported over the phone
  • Minnesota: 10 days
  • Mississippi: Accident must be immediately reported over the phone
  • Missouri: 30 days
  • Montana: Accident must be immediately reported over the phone
  • Nebraska: 10 days
  • Nevada: Accident must be immediately reported over the phone
  • New Hampshire: 15 days
  • New Jersey: Accident must be immediately reported over the phone
  • New Mexico: Accident must be immediately reported over the phone
  • New York: Five days
  • North Carolina: Accident must be immediately reported over the phone
  • North Dakota: Accident must be immediately reported over the phone
  • Ohio: Six months
  • Oklahoma: Accident must be immediately reported over the phone
  • Oregon: Three days
  • Pennsylvania: Five days
  • Rhode Island: 21 days
  • South Carolina: 15 days
  • South Dakota: Accident must be immediately reported over the phone
  • Tennessee: 20 days
  • Texas: 10 days
  • Utah: Accident must be immediately reported over the phone
  • Vermont: Five days
  • Virginia: Accident must be immediately reported over the phone
  • Washington: Four days
  • West Virginia: Five days
  • Wisconsin: Accident must be immediately reported over the phone
  • Wyoming: 10 days

For states that require immediate reports, you should use your cell phone if you have one, or a pay phone if you can get to one. If for whatever reason you are unable to report the accident when it occurs, contact the police department or Department of Motor Vehicles at your soonest convenience.

Reporting an accident is a very important thing, so make sure that you do it anytime there is injury or property damage, and consider doing it anytime you’re involved in an accident. As long as you follow these deadlines, the reporting process will be smooth and easy.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

More related articles

Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Flexible Clutch Hose
Common signs include difficulty shifting, low clutch fluid, and feeling no resistance at the clutch pedal.
P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...
Insurance Requirements for Car Registration in Kentucky
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet requires that all drivers in Kentucky carry liability automotive insurance, or “financial responsibility” in order to operate a vehicle legally and maintain vehicle...


Related questions

Q: My car got rammed in the front, car is overheating

Hi, thanks for writing in. Usually during a front end collision, the first component damaged (besides the fenders or bumpers) is the radiator or supporting components attached to the radiator. The orange fluid is most likely coolant leaking from the...

Q: How many mufflers and resonators do i need on my car? Can I take 1 off and it still be legal?

According to section eleven of the Utah Highway Patrol vehicle inspection standards any vehicle missing an exhaust system component or design feature, present at manufacture, will fail inspection. As important, the exhaust system of vehicles is designed to work with...

Q: While pressing on brake pedal, car accelerated

Hi there, gladly you are okay after your accident. Brake failure can be a result of several different things. This can range from a failing brake booster, to air in the brake lines, to worn brake pads. Based upon the...