What to Do After an Idaho Car Accident

Are you thinking about researching and hiring a team of car accident lawyers in Boise, Idaho after your accident? According to the Idaho Transportation Department, there were 27,547 car accidents in 2021, which is a 22 percent increase over 2020. That’s almost 2,300 Idaho car accidents a month or about 75 per day. If you find yourself in one of these accidents, you may be wondering what you should do and if you should hire a legal team to represent you. Let’s take an in-depth look at car accidents in Idaho and what to do if you suddenly find yourself involved in one.

How Common Are Idaho Car Accidents?

In 2020, which is the most current year for comparative crash data, Idaho drivers drove 17,406 million miles. During that time, there were 188 fatal Idaho car accidents with 214 deaths, according to IIHS. That equates to 1.23 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled. The state with the most deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled was Mississippi with 1.90 deaths. The average in the US is 1.34 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled, which means that Idaho is below the country average for car accident deaths. However, just because Idaho is safer than the national average doesn’t mean that drivers should lessen their vigilance. With an increase in vehicles and drivers on the road each year, the risk of getting into an accident is increasing.

Statute of Limitations Regarding Car Accidents in Idaho

It’s important to understand that the state of Idaho has a statute of limitations when it comes to personal injury cases, and that includes car accidents. Idaho Statutes section 5-219 states that a person has up to two years from the date of the accident to request a resolution from the courts. If you’re not sure if you’re within this limitation, our car accident lawyers in Boise, Idaho can review your case and the timeline.

What Should You Do After Getting Into a Car Accident in Idaho?

When you get into a car accident in Idaho, it’s important not to panic and follow a few simple steps, including:

  • Check for Injuries – The first step you should always take after a car accident is checking for injuries. Check yourself and any passengers with you to see if they are injured. If anyone is injured, immediately call 911 and request medical assistance.
  • Move to a Safe Location – If at all possible, move your vehicle to the side of the road in order to reduce the likelihood of someone else crashing into your car wreck.
  • Call the Police – If you suspect that the damage caused by the car accident is $1,500 or more or if someone is injured, you must call the police and file a police report, according to Idaho Legislature Section 49-1305.
  • Exchange Information With the Other Driver – If you and the other driver are able, you should exchange information, including your name, address, phone number, insurance information, and driver’s license number with all of the other drivers involved in the car accident. Additionally, you should get the names and contact information of anyone who may still be in the area who witnessed the accident.
  • Take Pictures – Use your cell phone to take pictures of the accident scene and the damage to your car as well as the other vehicle. These pictures may be needed by your insurance company when you file a claim.
  • Always Seek Medical Attention – Whether you believe you are injured or not, you should always be evaluated by a doctor after a car accident. Some injuries, like whiplash and herniated discs, are not readily apparent directly after a car accident. If any injuries are found, you’ll have documentation of them.
  • Call Your Insurance Company and Report the Accident – Once you are in a safe location and have been medically evaluated, call your insurance company to report the accident and file a claim.

Comparative Negligence in Idaho

Idaho follows a comparative negligence or comparative responsibility model when determining accident responsibility. Under Idaho Legislature Statute 6-801, damages for an accident can be awarded based on the percentage of responsibility. If you’re not sure who’s more at fault for the accident or are confused about the statute, our car accident lawyer in Idaho can explain this statute to you and how it applies to your accident.

For example, if the car accident caused $150,000 worth of damage and one driver is determined to be 30 percent at fault, the driver would be able to recover up to $105,000 or up to 70 percent of the cost of the accident.

It’s important to note that if any driver is found to be 50 percent or greater responsibility for the accident, that driver cannot claim any damages.

How Can an Idaho Car Accident Lawyer Help Me?

While not all accidents require the aid of an Idaho car accident lawyer, you should consider hiring an attorney if someone was injured in the accident, you believe that the other driver is the one who’s mostly at fault, the car insurance company is trying to lowball your offer, or the liability in the accident is overly complex and unclear. In other words, if you believe that you are being treated unfairly according to the law, it’s time to hire a car accident lawyer in Idaho, like the ones at Craig Swapp & Associates.

Written By: Ryan Swapp     Legal Review By: Craig Swapp