Knowing what to do and whom to call to file a claim after an auto accident in Idaho takes at least a basic understanding of the state’s car accident laws. Each state has unique car accident statutes that determine how victims must handle the auto insurance claims and personal injury lawsuit processes. From fault and no-fault insurance laws to comparative negligence statutes, it is up to you to learn how to handle your car accident claim. If you need assistance, contact a car accident lawyer near you.
Idaho No-Fault Insurance Law
Idaho is not a no-fault insurance state. Instead, like most states in the country, Idaho uses a fault-based insurance statute. In fault-based states, car accident victims must bring their claims with the at-fault party’s car insurance company. The driver most responsible for the factors leading up to the crash will be financially liable for damages.
After a car accident in Idaho, find out who was at fault for your crash with help from the police and investigators. Review crash reports with a lawyer to determine who or what caused your collision. The at-fault party could be the other driver, the manufacturer of a defective product in your vehicle, the owner of a dangerous roadway, an employer, a dram shop or someone else. A lawyer can help you determine the identity of the at-fault party or parties in your case. Then, you will file a claim with that party’s insurance provider.
Is Idaho a PIP State?
No, Idaho is not a PIP (personal injury protection) state. PIP is a type of insurance no-fault states require their drivers to purchase. Since Idaho is a fault-based state, it does not require PIP insurance. Under Idaho Statute 49-1229, the only required forms of auto insurance in the state are $25,000 in bodily injury coverage per person, $50,000 per accident and $15,000 in property damage liability. This makes it a 25/50/15 state. All basic insurance plans also come with $25,000 in uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage per person and $50,000 per accident. You can sign a form, however, and waive uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. Idaho does not require you to purchase additional insurance, such as PIP.
Idaho Statute of Limitations Auto Accident
You may need to file an auto accident lawsuit in Idaho instead of dealing with your damages through an insurance claim only. Your injuries might be serious enough to make a lawsuit worthwhile, as an insurance company may not offer suitable compensation for your life-changing losses. The at-fault driver might not have insurance, forcing you to take your claim to court instead. The insurance company that takes your case might try to infringe upon your rights by offering a small award or denying a valid claim to damages. In these scenarios, filing a lawsuit in Idaho could lead to a better outcome.
You have two years from the date your crash occurred in Idaho to file a personal injury claim or three years for a property-damage only claim. These are Idaho’s statutes of limitations, or the laws restricting how long claimants have to file. Waiting too long after your crash to contact an attorney could lead to the county courts dismissing your case. Speak to an auto accident lawyer in the first weeks or months after your crash to avoid missing the deadline.
Reporting a Car Accident in Idaho
After a car accident, you may have to report the collision and your damages to authorities in Idaho. Idaho Statute 49-1301 states that it is against the law to leave the scene of a car accident that causes vehicle damages, injuries or deaths. Anyone who does so is guilty of a hit-and-run misdemeanor. You must pull over, ask if anyone needs help and call 911 if the crash is serious. State law classifies serious accidents as those that cause injuries, fatalities or collective property damage over $1,500. In these cases, you must notify your local police department and file a crash report. Calling the police in Idaho can give you an official document detailing your auto accident for use during the claims process later. For more advice on how to handle the car accident claims process, contact a Meridian, Idaho car accident attorney.