Do I Need to Report a Car Accident in Kansas?

Drivers in Kansas are required to immediately report most car accidents to the police.

By , Attorney · UC Law San Francisco

Each state, including Kansas, has rules about when and how drivers are required to report car accidents to local and state authorities. If you've been involved in an accident in Kansas, following these rules is important to protect yourself and lay the foundation for a potential car insurance claim or car accident lawsuit.

When Are You Required to Report a Car Accident in Kansas?

Under Kansas law, if no police officer is present, you have to report a car accident when the accident involves one or more of the following circumstances:

  • the death of any person
  • injury to any person
  • property damage in an apparent amount of at least $1000, or
  • property damage to an unattended vehicle.

You also have to report an accident when you're not able to exchange contact and insurance information with anyone injured in the accident or anyone responsible for property damaged in the accident.

(Kan. Stat. Ann §§ 8-1604, -1605 (2023).)

Immediately Report the Accident to the Police

If no police officer is present, drivers or passengers 18 or older must immediately, using the "quickest available means of communication," inform the nearest office of a "duly authorized police authority" about a reportable accident. Examples of duly authorized police authorities include a local police department, a county sheriff's office, or the Kansas Highway Patrol. For most drivers and passengers, the quickest available means of communication is a phone call from the scene of the accident.

Drivers who hit unattended vehicles must report the accident to an authorized police authority "without unnecessary delay."

(Kan. Stat. Ann §§ 8-1604, -1605 (2023).)

You Might Have to Report the Accident to the Kansas Division of Vehicles

The Kansas Division of Vehicles may require a driver or owner involved in an accident to file a written report whenever the division decides it's necessary. The Kansas Department of Transportation prepares and supplies crash report forms to law enforcement agencies and individuals.

(Kan. Stat. Ann §§ 8-1607, -1612 (2023).)

Penalties for Not Reporting a Car Accident in Kansas

If you fail to report a reportable accident, your driver's license will be suspended until the report is made. The suspension may be extended for up to 30 days.

Failing to report damage you cause to an unattended vehicle or failing to submit a report required by the Kansas Division of Vehicles is a misdemeanor. The punishment for a first offense is up to one month's jail time and a $500 fine.

(Kan. Stat. Ann §§ 8-1605, -1609 (2023).)

Reporting an Accident to an Insurance Company

All standard car insurance policies require policyholders to report all car accidents that could trigger coverage to their insurer as soon as possible. If you don't report an accident, your insurer may deny coverage for the crash or cancel your policy.

Here are some tips on how to contact your car insurance company after an accident.

What to Do After You Report the Accident

Reporting a car accident is just the first step. You'll want to take additional steps to protect yourself and your car accident claim.

For example, some car accident evidence can only be gathered at the scene. If you can, be sure to:

  • exchange information with anyone involved in the accident
  • talk to witnesses who may have seen or heard the crash
  • take pictures of the accident scene, and
  • locate and request video of the accident.

If police responded to the scene, an officer likely wrote a police report about the accident. Get a copy of the report and make sure it's accurate. If you find errors in the report, you can ask the investigating officer to amend or supplement the report.

Talk to a Lawyer

If you've been involved in a car accident in Kansas, talk to a lawyer. A lawyer can answer your questions about local car accident laws and Kansas's no-fault auto insurance laws.

Learn more about hiring a car accident lawyer. When you're ready, you can connect with a lawyer directly from this page for free.

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