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  • Accident Guide in Ohio

    As unfortunate as they are, accidents happen. So, you should be aware of what Ohio law requires you to do if you are in accident.

    Accidents Happen

    If you're driving a vehicle and are in an accident, you're required to stop your vehicle at once. You'll need to provide your name, address, and vehicle registration number to all the parties involved in the accident.

    Additionally, if you're not the owner of the vehicle, you'll need to give the owner's name, too.

    If it appears that no one has been hurt, you don't have to call the police. Be aware that police officers do not have to respond to calls concerning accidents that don't involve an injury.

    If an injury has occurred, however, and is serious enough that the injured cannot either understand or write down the information you've given them, you must stay with the victim until the police arrive. (Unless, of course, you've also been injured, and are being removed from the accident scene in an emergency vehicle.)

    Should an injury occur, or if there was at least $400 in property damage, and if the driver or owner of one of the vehicles in the accident doesn't have auto insurance or acceptable financial responsibility coverage, you'll need to file a crash report with the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV).

    Keep in mind you'll need to do so within six months of the accident date.

    Accidents with Unoccupied Vehicles

    It doesn't take two drivers to create an auto accident; sometimes, we do enough damage ourselves!

    For all accidents involving an unoccupied vehicle, you're required to attach a note to the damaged vehicle complete with your name, address, and vehicle registration number. Make sure to write legibly, and affix the note to the vehicle in a secure, easy-to-see location.

    Miscellaneous Information

    If police arrive on the scene of an accident, they must fill out an accident report. A record of the accident will be listed on your driving record, even if you weren't at fault.

    Should damage occur to someone's real or personal property, everyone involved in the accident must give the pertinent information to the owner (or person in charge) of the property.

    If you are unable to do this at the time of the accident, you must relay this information within 24 hours to law enforcement officials that have jurisdiction over the property. You'll also need to describe what happened, and where the accident took place.

    If you merely witnessed an accident but are not involved in it, you're not required to lend your assistance in any way.

    Next of Kin Notification

    The BMV now allows drivers to register their emergency contact information with the agency. By doing so, you enable law enforcement officials to more quickly notify a family member, guardian, or friend if you're seriously injured in an accident, or are unable to communicate. Register for this service online or at any license agency location.

    More Accident Information

    Need more information about traffic crashes? The state provides a Frequently Asked Questions page that covers many situations.

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