Tennessee Code Annotated

Title 55: Motor and Other Vehicles

Chapter 10: Accidents, Arrests, Crimes and Penalties

Part 1: Accidents

TCA 55-10-108: 55-10-108. Additional information -- Request for copy of report -- Reports open to public inspection -- Prohibited uses. [Effective until January 1, 2015. See the version effective on January 1, 2015.]

(a) The department may require any driver of a vehicle involved in an accident of which report must be made as provided in this section to file supplemental reports whenever the original report is insufficient in the opinion of the department and may require witnesses of accidents to render reports to the department.

(b) (1) Every law enforcement officer who, in the regular course of duty, investigates a motor vehicle accident, whether the accident has occurred on a highway within this state or on privately owned real property, either at the time of and at the scene of the accident or thereafter, by interviewing the participants or witnesses, shall, within seven (7) calendar days after completing the investigation, forward a written report of the accident to the department, and a copy thereof shall be kept in the various district offices of the Tennessee highway patrol. Any motor vehicle officer investigating any accident, at the time of and at the scene of the accident, may have the parties exchange insurance information, which would include the name of each party's insurance company and the location of an agency of the insurance company. Written reports prepared by a law enforcement officer shall include information pertaining to the insurance policy, including the name of the insurance company, if known, of each person involved in the accident. If a person has a certificate of compliance with the Tennessee Financial Responsibility Law of 1977, compiled in chapter 12 of this title, issued by the commissioner of safety, a copy of the certificate shall be included in the written report.

(2) Every law enforcement officer who, in the regular course of duty, investigates a motor vehicle accident that occurs on a road or highway in Tennessee, including federal interstates and defense highways, shall note on the written report of the accident if physical barriers are present at the site of such motor vehicle accident.

(c) Whenever an accident occurs involving operators of railroad locomotives, law enforcement officers making written reports of such accidents shall enter the operating permit number issued by the employing railroad instead of the operator's motor vehicle license number.

(d) Upon written request to the commissioner of safety in Nashville by the driver or owner of a vehicle involved in such an accident, or the driver's or owner's agent or legal representative, a copy of any written report of a motor vehicle accident investigated by the department shall be forwarded to the requesting party, the written request to be accompanied by four dollars ($4.00) in cash or check made payable to the commissioner which shall be expendable receipts of the department. The report under subsection (b) shall not be considered confidential within the meaning of SC 55-10-114(a). Copies of any written reports of a motor vehicle accident investigated by the department that are on file in the various district offices of the Tennessee highway patrol shall be made available for inspection by the parties set forth in this subsection (d), and may be obtained from the station by paying the fee of four dollars ($4.00).

(e) The department of safety shall monitor written reports of accidents forwarded to the department by law enforcement agencies to ensure that the reports are being forwarded timely. The department shall notify any law enforcement agency that fails consistently to forward the reports within seven (7) calendar days pursuant to subsection (b).

(f) Any written report of a motor vehicle accident investigated by the department or prepared pursuant to subsection (b) shall be open to public inspection as a public record under the public records laws compiled in title 10, chapter 7. It is an offense punishable as a Class A misdemeanor for any person to knowingly use the written report or information contained in the report for solicitation that is prohibited by a standard of conduct or practice of any profession licensed by the state.

(g) A person who holds a professional license regulated in the executive branch of the state who uses information obtained pursuant to this section in violation of a code of professional ethics or rule of professional conduct commits a Class B misdemeanor punishable by fine only.

(h) (1) As used in this subsection (h):

(A) "Accident response service fee" means a fee imposed for the response or investigation by a law enforcement agency of a motor vehicle accident; and

(B) "Entity" includes a governmental entity or agency or a department of a governmental entity.

(2) Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, no person or entity shall impose an accident response service fee on or from an insurance company, the driver or owner of a motor vehicle, or any other person. Nothing in this part prevents any county, municipality or other local government from billing an insurance company, the driver or owner of a motor vehicle, or any other person for ambulance services provided in response to or in conjunction with emergency response to motor vehicle accidents.

History: Acts 1955, ch. 329, SC 85; 1963, ch. 217, SC 1; 1967, ch. 200, SCSC 1, 2; 1969, ch. 213, SC 2; 1973, ch. 343, SC 1; T.C.A., SC 59-1008; Acts 1986, ch. 842, SCSC 7, 8; 1993, ch. 131, SC 1; 1998, ch. 886, SCSC 1-4; 2004, ch. 757, SC 1; 2007, ch. 139, SC 1; 2008, ch. 651, SC 1; 2008, ch. 681, SCSC 1, 2; 2012, ch. 1108, SC 1.