Idaho Car Accident Law, Lawyers and Attorneys
UPDATED: February 24, 2020
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Car accidents can happen to anyone. They occur every day in every state in the U.S. Even with its small population, the state of Idaho had over 25,000 car accidents in the year 2008. If you are among those who have been in an accident, and are looking help and guidance on what to do now, be sure to check out the resources and information provided below. Of course, it’s important to remember that if the accident has just occurred and you or someone you know is injured as a result, you should call 911 immediately. The information available to you here, such as how to assess your rights and responsibilities following an accident, will be pertinent once you have taken care of your immediate health needs. Our car accident articles cover a wide array of issues, ranging from claims and fault data, to liability issues and the context behind structured settlements. You’ll also find rules, laws and other information specific to the state of Idaho, as well as links to Idaho personal injury attorneys who can assess the value of your claim and provide advice on your best course of action.
Idaho Car Accident Articles:
How an Auto Accident Insurance Claim Works
What is Your Car Accident Injury Claim Worth?
Who is at Fault?
Car Insurance and Auto Accidents: Are You Covered?
What You Can Expect to Recover for Property Damage in Auto Accident Cases
Auto Accidents: Options if You’re at an Impasse with the Insurance Adjuster
Car Accidents Involving Government-Owned Vehicles and Government Workers
Do I Need to Contact an Attorney After a Car Accident?
Idaho Car Accident Lawyers:
Special Rules for Idaho Car Accidents:
Idaho Fault: Proportional Comparative Fault @ 50%
Idaho Car Insurance Requirements/Limits: Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability. The minimum level required by law is:
$25,000 per person for bodily injury
$50,000 per accident for bodily injury
$15,000 per accident for property
Note that uninsured motorist coverage is not required by law in Idaho (an indemnity bond may be posted in the alternative), but if you can afford it, the value is significant considering the added cost. Also note that proof of this liability insurance must be kept available in the vehicle at all times, including when registering a vehicle, renewing license plates, or anytime an officer of the law asks you for the proof.
For those opting to post the indemnity bond, note that the required payment guarantee is $50,000 per accident minimum, with the bond remaining in effect for the duration of your car’s operating lifetime.
Idaho Small Claims Limits: $5,000
Idaho Personal Injury Statute of Limitations: 2 years
Idaho Auto Accidents Involving Government Vehicles: In most cases, government entities receive protection from private lawsuits under a legal doctrine known as “government immunity” or “sovereign immunity.” This doctrine doesn’t necessarily provide complete protection though; sometimes it just imposes extra notice requirements.ï¿½ For more information on this type of government protection, follow this link to our FreeAdvice.com article on vehicle accident claims against government entities. Keep in mind that, depending on which government entity, there are frequently special requirements for how long you have to notify them of your claim. See below for some specific Idaho details:
Requirements for Filing Against Government Entities:
1) For filing against the Federal Government: Use Standard Form 95 and follow the instructions on the back page. The form must be completed and submitted to the appropriate agency within two years after the claim accrues.
2) For filing against the State of Idaho: Any accidents resulting in injuries, occurring on public property, or yielding damages in excess of $1,500 must be reported to the Idaho police. Note that this requirement holds whether or not you are at fault. When suing the state (or one of its agencies), you must serve both the named defendant and separately the Idaho attorney general, by certified or registered mail. This is in part to give the state time to consult the attorney general in designating its in-court representative – an employee (who may not be the employee involved in the accident) who will sit in court representing the state or the sued agency. ï¿½
Any claims that could bring a Tort Claims Act lawsuit (see “Federal Government” requirements above) are handled very swiftly and seriously, so even though you may have up to two years to file the completed Standard Form 95, local agencies and their respective monitoring agencies begin investigations almost immediately, with government employees usually being required to submit their accident reports within 48 hours to a week. That means the government investigation will begin in earnest immediately after that; if you can manage to file your claim sooner, the better chance your evidence may have of standing up to the government investigators. See below for contact information for our AttorneyPages.com Idaho car accident attorney database.
3) For filing against an Idaho county or municipality: The requirements vary with the entity, so you’ll have to contact the specific county or agencies involved. But if you have a claim against the county itself, you can count on bringing it before the county-level board of commissioners first. If the claim is rejected at that level, then you will generally have up to 6 months from the date of the board’s first rejection to bring a civil action in court.ï¿½ See Idaho Personal Injury Venue below for more information on where and how to file a claim. See this directory for a listing of Idaho public entities.
In dealing with accidents involving government entities and workers, be aware that there are always special notices to be filed against the appropriate government unit responsible, whether in risk management, the attorney general’s office, or local agencies, and the time periods are limited in all cases (often as little as 30-180 days). The rules can be confusing, so carefully check the forms linked above before you fill them out, and/or call the Department of Administration and directly before filing your claim. Accident claims involving the government can be complicated. Any mistakes in filing or failing to file on time could result in losing your ability to recover for your damages and injuries. Consult an experienced attorney right away to preserve your rights. Also seeCar Accidents Involving Government-Owned Vehicles and Government Workers.
Idaho Personal Injury Venue (Where to File Your Lawsuit): In the municipal or justice court located where the defendant (the person you are suing) lives or does business. Where the state or local government is being sued, it is appropriate to file in your (the plaintiff’s) county of residence. If you’re not an Idaho resident, then file in a court located where the accident occurred. If you are filing a claim against a government agency and are unsure of which agency is responsible, the most prudent course is to file a separate claim against each agency, or contact an Idaho auto accident attorney.