Leaving the scene of an accident without calling the police, reporting it via 9-1-1, or exchanging information with the other driver may lead to criminal charges. Drivers may face civil fines and penalties, including license suspension if they leave the scene of an accident. If you are unsure whether to remain at the scene of an accident, seek advice from Aronfeld Trial auto injury lawyer. They have years of experience and legal knowledge and can offer the counsel you need.
Have you or a loved one been involved in a car accident? Here’s why you should not leave the scene, even if there are no injuries.
Why Shouldn’t You Leave the Scene of An Accident If There are No Injuries?
Leaving the scene of an accident can have severe consequences. Here are some reasons why you shouldn’t leave the scene of an accident:
- The other driver could claim anything. The other driver might lie and claim that you are at fault. If there are no witnesses, it will be up to you to prove otherwise. In this case, the police may side with the other driver’s testimony instead of yours.
- It’s against the law. Leaving the scene of an accident is illegal in most states. The penalties vary widely by state but typically include fines, license suspension or revocation, community service hours, jail time, probation, or mandatory classes on safe driving practices.
- You may need the police report to collect damages from your insurance company. If you don’t have a police report, your insurance company may be unable to claim on your behalf.
- Some injuries are not visible immediately. For example, if someone has whiplash or concussion symptoms after a collision, they may not know they’ve been injured until hours later or even days after the incident. In that case, you need the police report, which has the exact time which you can present to the lawyers, doctors, and insurance carriers. The report will explain further about your injuries.
What Do You Do After an Accident?
After an accident, it can be a stressful time. Here are some tips on what to do:
- Get out of the vehicle, and move your vehicle off the road if necessary.
- Call the police if you have been in a car crash or witnessed a hit-and-run incident. Please provide as much information about the location of the accident and its cause. Don’t take responsibility or apologize; the police might use it against you.
- Call 911 or visit your nearest hospital emergency room if hurt or injured. Do not wait until you feel better before getting treatment for injuries sustained during an accident.
- If you have suffered financial losses due to an accident caused by another person’s negligence or recklessness, contact an attorney specializing in car accidents.
- Take pictures of both vehicles showing the damage before you leave – These photos will help document your claim when you file an insurance claim with your insurance company.
- Get the police report – Contact your local police department and ask if they have a copy of the accident report. The report will help when filing an insurance claim.
Information to Collect After an Accident
Here’s some of the information you should gather after an accident:
- Accident location
- The name and contact information for any witnesses
- Details about the other driver’s insurance company, including policy number, address, and phone number
- The license plate number and make/model/color of any vehicles involved in the crash
Why Should You Involve a Lawyer After an Accident?
Here are some key reasons why it may be beneficial to consult an auto accident lawyer after a car accident:
An auto accident lawyer can help investigate the accident and determine who was at fault. They can gather evidence, interview witnesses, and review police reports to build a strong case on your behalf.
Protect Your Rights
An attorney can ensure that your rights are protected throughout the legal process. They can advise you on what to say and what not to say to insurance adjusters and other parties involved in the case, and they can negotiate with the other party’s insurance company on your behalf.
Navigate the Legal System
The legal system can be complex and confusing, especially if you are unfamiliar with the law. An attorney can guide you through the process, explain your options, and help you make informed decisions.
Leaving the accident scene may be a violation of the law, even if there were no injuries. Follow the steps above to avoid any legal trouble.