DOJ: News Release

McGrath: Insurance Carriers Entitled to Accident Reports

HELENA – In a formal opinion released today, Montana Attorney General Mike McGrath held that the insurance carrier of an individual involved in a traffic accident is entitled to receive copies of accident reports, whether or not the carrier is specifically named or mentioned in the report.

The opinion notes that the same Montana law that stipulates that accident reports are not open to inspection by the general public also says that insurance carriers of people involved in an accident may get reports without a court order.

At the same time, the state’s Criminal Justice Information Act permits dissemination of confidential information “to those authorized by law to receive it.”

“The statutory language of these statutes when read together is clear and unambiguous,” the opinion says.

Speaker of the House Gary Matthews requested the opinion. Attorney general’s opinions carry the weight of law unless a court overturns them or the legislature modifies the laws involved.

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