Idaho Car Accident Laws You Should Know

Nowadays, driving is an essential part of our daily lives. When you get behind the wheel, you hope to arrive safely at your destination. Unfortunately, accidents can happen, even if you obey traffic laws and do your best to avoid hazardous situations. In the case of a car accident in Idaho, it’s essential to prove that you had nothing to do with the accident. It’s worth knowing more about Idaho car accident laws, whether you’ve been in an accident or just want to be prepared in case you are in the future.

Idaho Car Accident Laws

Idaho isn’t a no-fault insurance state, meaning personal injury protection insurance isn’t required. Per Idaho law, you must have $25,000 in bodily injury coverage per person and $50,000 per accident. Additionally, you must have $15,000 in property damage liability coverage. Since Idaho is a fault-based insurance state, you’ll need to determine fault for the crash before filing an insurance claim.

It will likely be necessary to hire an Idaho car accident lawyer to prove your innocence. Your lawyer can investigate the cause of the crash to determine if the other party was distracted, drowsy, intoxicated, reckless, or otherwise negligent.

Types of Compensation for Damages

  • Pain, suffering, emotional distress, and lost enjoyment of life: This can be difficult to measure since it’s relatively subjective. Still, these damages are important considerations when filing a personal injury claim. Courts generally consider the nature of the injuries, disfigurement, aggravation of pre-existing injuries, and impairment when determining pain and suffering damages.
  • Medical expenses: You may need immediate medical attention or long-term treatment. You can seek damages for current and future medical expenses caused by an automobile accident.
  • Lost wages: If you have to take time off work or are fired because of a car accident, you can seek damages for lost wages.
  • Vehicle repair and replacement: If your vehicle is damaged, you can seek damages to cover the cost of repairs or replacement.
  • Loss of consortium: In Idaho, the injured party’s spouse can seek damages, even if they themselves weren’t injured.

Limits on Damages

Per Idaho car accident laws, noneconomic damages are capped at $250,000; this applies to damages such as pain, suffering, emotional distress, and lost enjoyment of life. Still, exceptions can be made if the accident was caused by willful or reckless misconduct or if the misconduct is considered a felony.

Punitive damages (those awarded in addition to compensatory damages) are also capped. In Idaho, these damages are capped at $250,000 or three times the amount of compensatory damages.

Statute of Limitations

Claimants must file in a timely manner for their cases to be considered. Luckily, in Idaho, the statute of limitations is relatively generous. Personal injury claims must be filed within two years of the date of the accident, and property damage claims must be filed within three years. It’s best to get in touch with an Idaho car accident lawyer as soon as possible.

Reporting a Car Accident

Idaho car accident law states you must exchange information with the other parties. Additionally, you must immediately report the accident to the police if it results in death, injury, or property damage that is likely to exceed $1,500. Dialing 9-1-1 is generally the easiest way to report an accident. When contacting the police to report an accident, it’s essential to pull over, if possible, to avoid obstructing traffic. Make sure you and the other parties are safe before calling the police.

The police officer that arrives at the scene will create a detailed report of the accident. You’ll want to create your own accident report if a police officer can’t come to the scene. Make sure to include a description of how the crash occurred, the names and insurance information of the parties involved, the names of witnesses and their accounts of the incident, and photos of the damage.

It’s against the law to try to hide car accident evidence. Idaho repair shops are required by law to report any damage that appears to have been caused by a car accident. 

Craig Swapp & Associates

Although you may believe insurance companies have your best interest at heart, they often try to pay as little as possible to preserve their bottom line. If you’ve been in a car accident in Idaho, it’s important to hire a qualified lawyer to handle your case. Personal injury lawyers are your best line of defense when seeking compensation, you need and deserve to cover your medical bills, property damage, and noneconomic damages.

Craig Swapp & Associates has a talented team of car accident lawyers in Boise, Idaho, that can help with your personal injury claim. Case evaluations and consultations are completely free, and our team of 80 legal professionals has served over 25,000 individuals. If you’re searching for car accident lawyers in Boise, Idaho, look no further. 

Written By: Ryan Swapp     Legal Review By: Craig Swapp