Why there’s no such thing as a “minor” accident in Tennessee

There’s no doubt that certain types of car accidents have more severe consequences than others. However, some drivers make the mistake of not filing an accident report if they believe an accident was “minor.”

In Tennessee, an accident report is almost always required. Here’s why.

Two types of accident reports

There are two different car accident reports that can be filed. One is a police report, which is filled out by law enforcement officials. The other is called an Owner/Driver report and is filled out by the driver and submitted to the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security.

When an accident report is required

Knowing what to do after an accident can be difficult, but it’s important to remember at the scene that calling the police to fill out an accident report is required when:

  • Total property damage costs more than $50 to repair
  • An involved party suffers and injury
  • An involved party is killed

You may also be required to report any accident to the police, depending on your city ordinance or your insurance company policy.

If the total property damage resulting from the accident exceeds $400 in repair costs or there is an injury and/or death, you are required to also file an Owner/Driver Report within 20 days of the incident.

Failing to submit the proper reports matters

The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) may suspend your licenses if you do not take the proper steps to report a car accident.

Further, you may decrease your liability. For example, if you experience a delayed injury after the accident, it may be difficult to gain compensation from the at-fault driver if there is no report of what exactly happened at the scene.

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