Do I Need to File a Police Report After a Car Accident in Arkansas?

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Car accidents have an uncanny way of messing up our day. Accidents often happen when we are in a rush to get somewhere and hearing the crunch of metal can make your day go from bad to worse. However, many people have asked when they have to file a police report and when they don’t.   

Under Arkansas law, the driver of every motor vehicle who is involved in any accident within this State which results in damage to the property of any one person in excess of $1,000.00 or which causes the injury or death of any person regardless of who is at fault is required to file a report with the Arkansas Office of Driver Services within 30 days of the incident. 

After an accident where someone has been injured or dies, it is obvious that a report is required and you should always call the police. However, it is less obvious when there is an accident where there is only property damage. What exactly is $1,000 worth of damages, and how can you tell if you have sustained or have caused $1,000 worth of damages on the side of the road. In these instances, it is always advisable to call the police to file a police report.  

Drivers are required to file a written accident report through an official accident report form with the Arkansas Office of Driver Services within thirty days of their accident. Drivers can access these forms online on the Arkansas Office of Driver Services website.  

Proof of Financial Responsibility   

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In addition to filing a report where there has been property damage in excess of $1,000 and when a driver, passenger, or pedestrian has suffered bodily injury or death, Arkansas law also requires drivers to file a proof of insurance certificate within 90 days of the accident with the Office of Driver Services. Drivers are required to provide proof of financial responsibility through any of the following:  

  1. The SR-21 must show limits of $25,000, $50,000, and $25,000, or state that the limits are at least equal to those required by State (Arkansas). 
  2. A Deposit of Security as tabulated by this Department.  
  3. A written release of liability signed by the other party in the accident must be submitted to this Department.  
  4. A final civil adjudication of non-liability from a court of competent jurisdiction. Trial in traffic court is not considered an adjudication of non-liability. Submit a certified copy of the judgment to this Department.  
  5. A covenant not to sue. Must be in writing, signed by the adverse party, and must be notarized.  
  6. A written agreement which has been accepted by the appropriate parties to the payment of damages in installments. A copy of this agreement must be filed with this Department. 
  7. A written statement by the adverse party of his liability insurance carrier that they have reimbursed you for your property damage.  
  8. A written request to this Department for a hearing to determine if there is a reasonable possibility that a judgment may be rendered against you as a result of the accident. If the hearing indicates such judgment does not seem likely, then the Department may not require the security deposit.  
  9. A copy of a bankruptcy petition with a list of creditors naming all parties. 

It is important for drivers to submit on their own behalf or have an agent such as an attorney file a proof of insurance certificate within 90 days of the accident or the driver could potentially face adverse consequences.  

What are the Consequences of not Filing a Report after an Accident?  

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After an accident, it is always a good idea to get the other driver’s contact information including their insurance company and other important information. In addition, it is always wise to call the police so they may file a report. However, what happens if you do not file a report after an accident? Since the law requires that you file both a formal written report as well as a proof of insurance certificate, if you fail to do so you could land in legal trouble.   

If you do not file a report documenting a car accident in Arkansas, then you could potentially lose your license, as well as face a penalty of up to $100.00. Additionally, if you do not file a report with the Office of Driver Services with proof of insurance it will create a presumption that your vehicle is not insured, opening the door to other possible penalties.  

Injured in a Car Accident? Contact an Arkansas Car Accident Lawyer for Help

If you or someone you love was hurt in a car accident, an experienced Arkansas car accident lawyer can help negotiate with the insurance companies and investigate matters of liability.  To schedule your private consultation, call Ken Kieklak at (479) 251-7767, or contact us online.  Don’t wait until the statute of limitations has expired and you’re out of options: call us today to get started. 

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