Accident Investigations

WHAT TO DO AFTER AN ACCIDENTDrivers and passengers can be injured anytime, anyplace. That’s why such occurrences are called accidents – an unexpected, unfortunate situation in which one is rarely prepared. Knowing what to do after an accident can make the experience a less frightening one and decrease the chance of unnecessary complications.

  • Stop. If you are involved in an accident, you must stop and provide information to others involved in the accident. It is a serious crime to leave the scene of an accident which can result in the suspension of your driving privileges.
  • Alert other drivers that an accident has occurred. Turn on your emergency signals or use another means to let people know that there has been an accident.
  • Move to the shoulder of the road if possible. Indiana law states that drivers involved in crashes that do not result in injury or death should not obstruct traffic more than necessary. Off the roadway or on the shoulder is a much safer place to exchange information or wait for law enforcement to arrive. Your insurance coverage will not be compromised if you move your vehicle to the shoulder.
  • Call the police as soon as possible if someone is injured or damage is extensive.
  • Exchange information with other drivers. If there are no injuries, exchange information such as your name, address, license plate number, driver’s license number, and insurance information with other drivers involved in the accident. Write down the names, addresses, and phone numbers of anyone who witnessed the accident. Write down details regarding the accident, such as the location, weather conditions, and visibility. Write down the names and badge numbers of all police officers at the scene. Ask the investigating officer how to obtain a copy of the police report.
  • Do not sign any document unless it is for the police or your insurance agent.
  • Take pictures of the accident scene. Keep a camera in your glove compartment to record the accident or use a cell phone camera.
  • Notify your insurance agent immediately. Ask them to electronically file a Certificate of Compliance proving insurance coverage for the date of the accident and the vehicle involved.
If the driver of a vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury, death or entrapment is physically incapable of helping other people who were injured or entrapped during the accident or contacting law enforcement about the accident, then passengers in the vehicle who are at least 18 years old, or who are at least 15 years old and hold learner’s permits or driver’s licenses, and who are capable of helping other people or contacting law enforcement should immediately help injured or entrapped people involved in the accident. This assistance should include removing any entrapped passenger from the vehicle in which he or she is trapped, and may include taking injured people from the scene of the accident to a physician or hospital for medical treatment. Capable passengers must also immediately give notice of the accident by the quickest means of communication to the local police department, office of the county sheriff or nearest state police post.

In a single-vehicle accident that causes damage to another vehicle or property and the owner is not present, you must leave your name, address, and telephone number on a note where the owner will see it. If the damaged property is in a location where a note would not be easily found, you must notify law enforcement with your name, address, and telephone number.
PROVIDE PROOF OF FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITYAfter an accident, you must provide proof to the BMV that automobile liability insurance or other proofs of financial responsibility were in effect on the date of the accident. Ask your insurance provider to electronically send the proof of insurance (Certificate of Compliance) to the BMV on your behalf. These instructions are general guidelines only. Each accident scenario may be different, and there are various responsibilities for different types of accidents.
COPY OF CRASH REPORTSBargersville Police Department accident reports are now available at BUYCRASH.COM for a nominal fee. An information card will be issued by the officer at the time of the incident. This card will state the date of collision, operator’s last name and report number. BUYCRASH.COM can also be reached at 1-866- 847-1301.