Brad Pistotnik Law
Abogado El Toro

Is Failure to Report an Accident a Crime?

Is failure to report a car accident a crime in Kansas? How many motorists and pedestrians are involved in hit and run accidents each year? In Kansas, state statute requires motorists to report automobile accidents that cause personal injuries or fatalities, as well as accidents that cause more than $1,000 in property damage. If a police officer responds to the scene of the accident, the officer will file the report. In fact, the majority of accidents in Kansas must be reported to local police departments.

Failure to report an accident that a motorist is required to report can result in driver license suspension and misdemeanor charges. This can happen even if the drivers mutually agree not to report the accident to the proper authorities. As such it is crucial for all motorists to thoroughly document the scene of the accident via photographs and video, as well as to exchange information with one another including names, contact information, driver license numbers, and information about automobile insurance. This should be submitted to the police at the earliest possible opportunity.

In 2016, there were 381 fatal accidents in Kansas and a further 13,365 injury accidents. There were also 48,095 accidents that caused only property damage. Under Kansas law, the drivers involved in all of these accidents were required to report the accident to the appropriate authorities.

However, not all drivers remain at the scene of the accident. In 2016, there were 6,407 hit and run incidents, police pursuits, and stolen vehicles in Kansas. Of these, there were 4,011 incidents that involved vehicles that struck parked cars and 10,237 accidents where fixed objects, such as ditches, curbs, buildings, barriers, signposts, stoplights, etc. were hit. Drivers who commit these acts and choose not to report the incident when it causes more than $1,000 in damage are violating the law by failing to report.

Kansas also requires motorists to report accidents even when no other vehicles or pedestrians are involved. This includes the 26,254 single-vehicle accidents that happened in 2016. There are many reasons drivers fail to report accidents. These include the consumption of alcohol or drugs, the absence of liability insurance, driving without a valid driver license, etc. However, none of these are acceptable reasons for failure to report an automobile accident in Kansas.

Drivers are also required to report accidents involving animals. Kansas has a large deer population, and in 2016, there were 10,150 deer/vehicle collisions reported. Similarly, drivers are required to report accidents that involve farm equipment. These include the 110 accidents in 2016 that involved everything from overturned tractors to tractor/vehicle collisions.

Even if an accident appears to cause less than $1,000, it is always advisable to report it. That is because many personal injuries are not readily apparent. Filing a report creates an official record that can be referred to later on. Similarly, property damage isn't always readily apparent and damage to the chassis, engine, wheels, etc. may not manifest right away. When it comes to reporting an automobile accident, it's better to be safe rather than sorry later on.

Brad Pistotnik Law represents clients in Olathe, Lawrence, Wichita, Topeka, El Dorado, McPherson, Gardner, Leawood, Salina, De Soto, Ulysses, Kingman, Pratt, Garden City, Liberal, Elk City, Springfield, Decatur, Chicago, Dodge City, Kingman, Pratt, Satanta, Ulysses, Goodland, Ness City, Newton, Emporia, McPherson, Hutchinson, Arkansas City, Wellington, Omaha, Lincoln, Grand Junction, Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio, Laredo, Guymon, Kearney, Lincoln, Orlando, Tampa, Ft. Lauderdale, Miami and elsewhere in Kansas, Illinois, Nebraska, Missouri, Florida, Texas, and Oklahoma. When a driver's failure to report it causes unnecessary pain and suffering. Our office helps clients pursue the compensation for personal injuries and property damage that they are entitled to recover.

We are Brad Pistotnik Law. ® We are Abogado El Toro. ® Hire the real Brad. ® Call in the Bull. ® We are the Bull Attorneys! ™ Call us at 1-800-241-BRAD or call us on our local line at 316-684-4400. You can call Brad Pistotnik on his cell at 316-706-5020. You can call Tony Atterbury on his cell at 316-617-9237. You can call from Western Kansas at 620-THE-BULL. Our main office location is at 10111 E. 21st St. N., Suite 204, Wichita Kansas 67206. Our Garden City office is at 3102 E, Kansas Avenue, Suite 100, Garden City, Kansas. We always give free consultations and we answer the phone 24/7 and on weekends and holidays for free legal consultation.