Idaho Car Accident Laws

If you get into a car accident in the Gem State, you’ll need to know Idaho’s car accident laws to file a report or claim damages.
Written by Mariza Morin
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
According to state law, if you get into a car accident in
, you must promptly report the incident to law enforcement if the collision results in the injury or death of any person involved or if there’s property damage exceeding more than $1,500.
Car accidents can be a traumatic experience. Standing on the side of the road and seeing your faithful old truck nearly totaled is almost too much to bear. But it’s crucial to know your state’s car accident laws so you’re not completely taken aback if you get into a wreck. 
Here to help guide you through Idaho car accident laws is
. We’ll look at accident reporting, financial responsibility, personal injury lawsuits, and comparative negligence law in the Gem State. 
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What to do after a crash: Idaho car accident reporting laws

If you're in a car accident
, the first thing you should do is ensure everyone involved is safe and free from injuries. Move your vehicle off the road to a secure spot and call 911 right away if anyone is hurt. It’s also important to document the accident scene, including photographic evidence, and exchange insurance information with the other driver as well.
You must provide your personal information to the other parties and law enforcement involved before leaving the scene of the accident. If you’re in Idaho, you may have to report the accident at least twice more: 
  • To the police
  • To your insurance company 
Now, let’s look closer at Idaho car accident laws that deal with reporting accidents. 

When to report an accident to the police

If you’re involved in an accident that causes any injury, death, or property damage exceeding $1,500, Idaho law requires that you report the accident to the police immediately.
Section 49-1305
of the Idaho Statutes goes over the details: 
  • If the accident occurred within a city, you must file a report with the local police department.
  • If the accident occurred outside a city, you can report it to the office of the county sheriff or the closest office of the Idaho State Police.
  • If the driver of a vehicle is physically unable to provide prompt notice of the accident but there was another capable passenger in the vehicle at the time of the collision, the passenger must fill the report in lieu of the driver.
Furthermore, according to
Section 49-1301
, it is against the law if you leave the scene of a serious accident that results in an injury, death, or property damage. You will be charged with a hit-and-run misdemeanor if you do so. 

Financial responsibility and coverage minimums: Idaho’s insurance laws

Now that you know how to report an accident to law enforcement, let’s look at car insurance. What coverage does Idaho law require, and what are the penalties if you’re involved in an accident without the right coverage? 
All drivers in Idaho must show financial responsibility for their vehicles. In order to meet this requirement, you have to buy car insurance. Under
Idaho car insurance law
, all drivers must hold a minimum of 25/50/15 liability insurance, or:
If you’re caught without the minimum insurance coverage in Idaho, you may receive a $75 fine for a first offense and up to $1,000 for a second or subsequent offense. And the state will also
suspend your driver’s license
until you can provide proof of coverage or your insurer files for
SR-22 insurance
with the Idaho Transportation Department. Not having proper coverage may also affect your ability to claim damages through a personal injury lawsuit. 
And sadly, not every driver carries car insurance in Idaho. A 2019
Insurance Information Institute (III)
study found that about 13.2% of Idaho drivers are uninsured.
This is another good reason why you should purchase
uninsured motorist coverage
, even though Idaho law does not require it. If you’re part of the 86.8% of drivers who are insured in the Gem State, you may have a harder time claiming damages if you get into an accident with an uninsured driver.
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Claiming damages after an accident: Idaho’s personal injury laws

Based on the specific details of an accident, you may want to consider filing a personal injury lawsuit to collect damages rather than just an insurance claim. 
The Idaho Statutes set a statute of limitations on personal injury lawsuits resulting from car accidents. But please note there are time frames depending on your claim: 
  • For bodily injury claims, you have two years to file an injury claim (
    Section 5-219
  • For property damage claims, you have three years to file a damage claim (
    Section 5-218

Exceptions to Idaho’s personal injury laws

There is one notable exception to Idaho’s two-year limitation on personal injuries: if the ​​accident victim was a minor at the time of the accident. 
If a minor was injured, the two-year statute of limitations begins on their 18th birthday. At this time they may file a claim to collect damages. 

Who’s to blame: Idaho’s modified comparative negligence law

Following a car accident, the main question on your mind must be: who is at fault? If Charles collides with Ray’s car while speeding, but Ray got distracted by answering her cell phone while driving, who’s to blame? And who will collect damages under these circumstances?
Section 6-801
of Idaho Statutes, the state has a modified
comparative negligence law
, meaning you can recover damages in a personal injury lawsuit unless you are found to be more than 50% at fault for the accident. So, in this case, both Charles and Ray may be able to claim damages.
Evidently in this example, both Charles and Ray were violating traffic laws, so neither driver is 100% at fault. But if Ray is found to be 30% at fault, she may have to pay 30% of the damages while Charles would need to cover the remaining 70% of the damages. But if both parties are each 50% at fault, neither Charles nor Ray will be able to recover any damages. 

How to save money on car insurance in Idaho

Your insurance rates could go up after an accident
in Idaho by 35% to 80%. This would make most drivers feel as if it’s nearly impossible to find affordable car insurance. But no matter your situation, the
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All you have to do is download the Jerry app, answer a few basic questions about your current coverage, and we’ll provide you with several competitive quotes from a pool of the top providers right at your fingertips.
Once you pick a new policy, Jerry’s team of expert agents will handle the rest, from completing the rest of the paperwork to helping you cancel your old policy. And when renewal time comes around, Jerry will get straight to work helping you find additional savings. 
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