§398. Accident reports; when and to whom made; information aid; fees for copies; fees for
A. The driver of a vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury to or death of
any person or property damage in excess of five hundred dollars shall:
(1) Immediately, by the quickest means of communication, give notice of the
accident to the local police department if the accident occurs within an incorporated city or
town or, if the accident occurs outside of an incorporated city or town, to the nearest sheriff's
office or state police station.
(2) Give his name, address, and the registration number of the vehicle he was driving
and, upon request and if available, exhibit his license or permit to drive to any person injured
in such accident or to the driver or occupant of or person attending any vehicle or other
property damaged in the accident.
(3) Give such information and, upon request, exhibit such license or permit to any
police officer at the scene of the accident or who is investigating the accident.
(4) If the accident occurs in a geographical area under order of evacuation by a
competent authority or is under a declared state of emergency, comply with the provisions
of Paragraphs (1) and (2) herein within seventy-two hours after the occurrence of the
B. The driver of any vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury to or death
of any person or total property damage to an apparent extent of one hundred dollars or more
shall, within twenty-four hours after the accident, forward a written report of the accident to
the Department of Public Safety and Corrections. Any person who violates the provisions
of this Subsection may be imprisoned for not more than sixty days or fined not more than one
hundred dollars, or both.
C. The Department of Public Safety and Corrections may require the driver of a
vehicle involved in an accident, which is required to be reported by this Section, to provide
a supplemental report when the original report is insufficient in the opinion of the department
and may require witnesses of an accident to render reports.
D. It shall be the duty of the state police or the sheriff's office to investigate all
accidents required to be reported by this Section when the accident occurs outside the
corporate limits of a city or town, and it shall be the duty of the police department of each
city or town to investigate all accidents required to be reported by this Section when the
accidents occur within the corporate limits of the city or town. Every law enforcement
officer who investigates an accident, as required by this Subsection, shall instruct the driver
of each vehicle involved in the accident to report the following to all parties suffering injury
or property damage as an apparent result of the accident:
(1) The name and address of the owner and the driver of the vehicle.
(2) The license number of the vehicle.
(3) The name of the liability carrier for the vehicle, the name, address, and telephone
number of the insurance agent who procured the liability policy providing coverage for the
E.(1) Every law enforcement officer who investigates an accident shall initial the
accident report form to show that the officer has complied with the provisions of Subsection
D of this Section, and shall indicate on the accident report form whether the investigation is
made at the scene of the accident or by subsequent investigation and interviews.
(2) Within forty-eight hours after completing the investigation, the investigating law
enforcement officer shall forward a written report of the accident to the Department of Public
Safety and Corrections. However, if the accident occurred within the corporate limits of a
city or town, the enforcement office shall forward a written report of the accident to the
police department of the city or town and a duplicate report to the Department of Public
Safety and Corrections within forty-eight hours after completing the investigation.
F. The state police, any local police department, or any sheriff's office shall provide
copies of crash reports to any interested person upon request and may charge a fee, not to
exceed the sum of five dollars per report that does not exceed two pages, and seven dollars
and fifty cents per report that exceeds two pages.
G. The state police, any local police department, or any sheriff's office shall provide
copies of photographs of accidents or other photographs required of the investigating agency,
video tapes, audio tapes, and any extraordinary-sized documents, or documents stored on
electronic media, to any interested person upon request and may charge a reasonable fee for
H. Every person holding the office of coroner in this state, or, in the event of a
vacancy in the office, the person performing the duties of coroner, shall report to the
Department of Public Safety and Corrections and to the Louisiana Highway Safety
Commission the death of any person as a result of a collision involving a motor vehicle, and
the circumstances of the collision within sixty days following such death. Such reports shall
be made on forms supplied or approved by the department as provided for in Subsection I
of this Section.
I. The Department of Public Safety and Corrections shall prepare and, upon request,
shall supply to police, coroners, sheriffs, and other suitable agencies or individuals, forms
for accident reports, calling for sufficient detailed information to disclose, with reference to
a highway accident, the cause, conditions then existing, and the persons and vehicles
involved. All accident reports required by this Section shall be made on forms supplied or
approved by the Department of Public Safety and Corrections. Each accident report form
supplied or approved by the department shall contain directions to the investigating officer
to instruct the parties to the accidents to exchange information as required in Subsection D
of this Section and shall contain a place for the investigating officer to initial the report to
indicate that he has given those instructions.
J. The Department of Public Safety and Corrections shall receive accident reports
required to be made by this Section and may tabulate and analyze such reports and publish
annually, or at more frequent intervals, statistical information based thereon as to the
number, cause, and location of highway accidents. Based upon its findings after analysis,
the department may conduct further necessary detailed research to determine more fully the
cause and control of highway accidents. It may further conduct experimental field tests
within areas in the state from time to time to prove the practicality of various ideas advanced
in traffic control and accident prevention.
K.(1)(a) The reports required by this Section, and the information contained in the
reports, shall be confidential, shall be exempt from the provisions of R.S. 44:1 et seq., and
shall be made available only: to the parties to the accident, parents or guardians of a minor
who is a party to the accident, and insurers of any party which is the subject of the report; to
the succession representatives of those parties, or to the attorneys of the parties or succession
representatives; or to a news-gathering organization that requests documents related to the
accident. Upon request, accident reports shall be made available to the above-enumerated
persons within seven working days following the completion of the accident investigation.
For the purposes of this Subsection: "news-gathering organization" means any of the
(i) A newspaper, or news publication, printed or electronic, of current news and
intelligence of varied, broad, and general public interest, having been published for a
minimum of one year and that can provide documentation of membership in a statewide or
national press association, as represented by an employee thereof who can provide
documentation of his employment with the newspaper, wire service, or news publication.
(ii) A radio broadcast station, television broadcast station, cable television operator,
or wire service as represented by an employee thereof who can provide documentation of
(b) In Orleans Parish, the local police department may charge a reasonable fee, not
to exceed the sum of twenty dollars, to provide copies of accident reports. State departments
and agencies shall not be required to pay such fee.
(2) All persons and their agents are prohibited from screening accident reports if the
person or his agent does not represent any of the persons involved in a particular accident,
the report for which could reasonably be expected to be available. However, this limitation
shall not prevent any person from requesting particular reports regardless of whether the
person represents any party in the accident.
(3) The information in the reports may be tabulated and included in the statistical
information published under the provisions of Subsection J of this Section.
(4) Nothing in this Section shall prohibit the sale of police accident reports or other
driving record information to consumers of on-line driving records under written contract for
purchase of records with the Department of Public Safety and Corrections.
(5) The information in the reports may be used by the office of motor vehicles for
the purpose of maintaining operating records.
L. Whenever any person is involved in an accident resulting in injury to or death of
any person, or property damage in excess of five hundred dollars and the law enforcement
officer investigating the accident has reason to believe that there exists a medical condition
which constitutes cause for revocation or suspension under the provisions of R.S. 32:414(E),
notification of such medical condition shall be made to the medical/conviction unit of the
office of motor vehicles of the Department of Public Safety and Corrections, provided that
the law enforcement officer first consults with his superior officer as to his specific
observations and such superior officer concurs with the issuing officer's belief.
M.(1) All police, state or local, shall immediately contact the Department of
Transportation and Development district office when called to the scene of an accident where
that department's property has been damaged in an amount which is estimated to exceed five
(2) All police, state or local, shall forward copies of accident reports which indicate
damage to property of the Department of Transportation and Development in an amount
which is estimated to exceed five hundred dollars to the department's headquarters
maintenance division within six days of the date of the accident without cost to the
Acts 1962, No. 310, §1. Amended by Acts 1970, No. 538, §7; Acts 1976, No. 414,
§1; Acts 1980, No. 706, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1981; Acts 1981, No. 913, §1, eff. Aug. 2, 1981; Acts
1982, No. 333, §1; Acts 1983, No. 133, §1; Acts 1984, No. 898, §1; Acts 1986, No. 348, §1;
Acts 1988, No. 347, §1; Acts 1990, No. 960, §1; Acts 1992, No. 878, §1; Acts 1993, No.
538, §1; Acts 1995, No. 527, §1; Acts 1995, No. 1071, §1; Acts 1997, No. 112, §1; Acts
1997, No. 1036, §1, eff. July 1, 1997; Acts 1997, No. 1288, §1; Acts 1997, No. 1442, §1;
Acts 1999, No. 310, §1; Acts 1999, No. 340, §1; Acts 2001, No. 1032, §12; Acts 2003, No.
508, §1; Acts 2011, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 9, §1; Acts 2011, No. 280, §1; Acts 2016, No. 104, §1.