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  • Accident Guide in Idaho

    Stop and Assess the Situation

    Witnessing an Accident

    If you are a witness to an accident, but were not actually involved, stop and help assess the situation. Has anybody been injured? Does someone need to call the police or an ambulance?

    Once on the scene, your account of the accident might help law enforcement to determine what actually happened.

    Furthermore, Idaho's Good Samaritan Law protects you from liability as long as you are acting in good faith. Remember, though, don't move an injured person from a wreckage unless there is immediate danger (such as a fire) or you are medically trained. This could result in severe spinal cord injury.

    Being Involved in an Accident

    If you're involved in the accident, regardless of fault, you are required to:

    • Stop as close to the scene of the accident as possible (Move vehicles that pose a hazard before the police arrive, and do not block traffic.)
    • Render any aid you can to an injured party.
    • Promptly call for medical and police assistance.
    • Exchange information with the other people involved in the accident (names, addresses, driver license numbers of other drivers; information about those injured; witness information; and the names, addresses, and insurance policy numbers of other vehicle owners).

    When animals are involved, don't take your responsibility any more lightly. Again, pull over. Try to find the owner. If the owner cannot be found, call the Humane Society or the police.

    Reporting an Accident to Police

    Any accident where someone is injured must be reported to authorities. In addition, any accident where the property damage exceeds $1,500 must also be reported.

    These accidents must be reported by the quickest means of communication to the local police department in cities, otherwise to the county sheriff or nearest state police offices.

    Accident With an Unattended Vehicle

    If you hit a parked car, you must make a reasonable effort to ascertain the owner of the vehicle you hit. If the owner cannot be found out, leave a note in a conspicuous location with all of your pertinent information:

    • Name,
    • Address, and
    • License plate number

    Follow this procedure for other property damage, too, where you can't find the owner. Leaving the scene of an accident without following these procedures could be considered a hit-and-run.

    Accident With an Uninsured Motorist

    If your accident involved an uninsured driver and you end up having problems collecting damages, request that the Idaho Transportation Department suspend the driving privileges of the uninsured motorist.

    For additional information regarding problems with collecting damage awards from uninsured motorists contact your city, county or state law enforcement agency, or your Idaho Transportation Department.

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