Accident Guide in Maine
Speeding, driving at unsafe speeds in bad weather, and running stop signs are among the top reasons for traffic accidents. But no matter how safe you drive, you may become involved in a car crash.
If there is personal injury or damage exceeds $1,000 to vehicles and property, Maine law requires you to contact police or risk the loss of your license or vehicle registration. Police must file a crash report that becomes part of your driving record, regardless of who is at fault.
You should take the following steps after an accident:
- Contact police. If anyone is injured or there is imminent danger from a vehicle fire or spilled substance, call 911 immediately. Otherwise, call the emergency or non-emergency number of local or state police or the county sheriff's department.
- Gather and exchange information with other drivers, including names, license numbers, vehicle license plate numbers, addresses, and phone numbers. You also need the insurer's name and policy number for each vehicle involved. Note the time and place the accident occurred.
- Stay at the accident scene. Leaving the scene of a crash with injury is a Class C crime in Maine, meaning your driver's license may be revoked for three years. If your vehicle is blocking traffic, try to move it off the road.
- Expect to show police your license, registration and insurance information.
- Cooperate with police, who will interview you and other drivers. Police will determine whether they need to fill out a crash report. They will complete a crash report for the following reasons:
- The crash is on a public road.
- A moving vehicle caused the crash.
- A person is injured or killed.
- Total damage to vehicles and property is estimated to exceed $1,000.
If you are in an accident that requires a crash report, you are required by law to notify police and remain at the scene with your vehicle.
If your vehicle is involved in a reportable traffic accident and the operator cannot be identified, you are mandated to contact police.
Failing to contact police or giving false information to police is a crime. You can lose your license and your vehicle's registration can be suspended or revoked.
The investigating officer will send the crash report to the Maine State Police for data gathering and analysis. Any accident you are in also goes on your record, no matter who is at fault.
Police can provide you with a Driver Report Form, which contains information on the drivers, vehicles, crash location, and investigating agency. The form is useful if you are involved in a collision that does not require a crash report.
Police may be able to print a copy of the form at the accident scene if they have a printer in their car. Otherwise you can request a copy from the police agency that investigated the crash.
Police may charge a small fee to cover the cost of processing the request.
Drivers involved in fatal crashes or crashes with life-threatening injuries are required by law to undergo a blood-alcohol test to determine if they were driving under the influence. Refusal results in immediate license suspension.
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