Car accidents can happen to anyone, anywhere, and at any time. They are often unexpected and leave us feeling frazzled, shaken, and even injured. In the aftermath of a car accident, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed with emotions and panic can set in. However, no matter how minor or severe the crash may seem, leaving the scene of an accident is never an option you should consider. Not only is it illegal in most cases but also highly dangerous for yourself as well as other drivers on the road. Read on to know why you should never leave the scene of a car accident!
The Legal Responsibility of the Driver
If you are involved in a car accident, it is your legal responsibility to stop your vehicle and exchange information with the other driver. If there are injuries or property damage as a result of the accident, you are also required to call the police. Leaving the scene of an accident without performing these steps is a crime known as “hit and run.”
If you are involved in a hit and run, or if you leave the scene of an accident where someone is injured, you could be facing felony charges. The penalties for hit and run accidents can include jail time, loss of your driver’s license, and steep fines. In some states, hit and run accidents can also result in points being added to your driving record.
So, if you are ever involved in a car accident, make sure to stop and exchange information with the other driver, and call the police if there are any injuries or property damage. It’s not worth risking your freedom by leaving the scene of an accident. If the accident occurred in Colorado, for example, a Denver based auto accident attorney can help you understand your rights and responsibilities under Colorado law. Plus, they can help you make sure your legal rights are protected in the event of a hit and run.
Penalties for Fleeing a Car Accident
If you are involved in a car accident, it is crucial that you stay at the scene. If you flee the scene of an accident, you could be charged with a hit and run. The penalties for a hit and run vary by state, but they can be quite severe. In some states, a hit and run is a felony offense. This means that you could face jail time, hefty fines, and a driver’s license suspension if convicted. If someone was injured in the accident, the penalties may be even more severe. So, if you are ever involved in an accident, make sure to stay at the scene and exchange information with the other driver.
How Can You Ensure Your Safety?
-Call the police. Even if there doesn’t seem to be any serious damage, it’s always best to have an officer come to the scene and make sure everything is okay. They can also help direct traffic if needed.
-Turn on your hazard lights. This will let other drivers know that there has been an accident and they should use caution when approaching the area.
-If possible, move your car off of the road. This will help to avoid any further accidents from happening and will also make it easier for emergency vehicles to get through if they need to.
-Stay calm and collected. It can be easy to get worked up after an accident, but it’s important to try and stay calm. Arguing with the other driver or getting angry will not help the situation.
What Should You Do After an Accident?
Once you’ve stopped your car, assess the situation and make sure everyone involved is okay. If anyone is injured, call 911 immediately. Even if there don’t appear to be any injuries, it’s always a good idea to err on the side of caution and call for medical help.
Exchange insurance information with the other driver or drivers involved. You’ll need to provide your name, address, phone number, driver’s license number, and insurance company information. Be sure to get this same information from the other driver or drivers as well.
If there’s significant damage to either vehicle or property, you should also call the police so they can file a report. Once the police arrive, they’ll talk to both parties involved and determine who was at fault for the accident.
In some states, it’s mandatory to report an accident even if there’s only minor damage. So it’s always best to err on the side of caution and give them a call just in case.
Dealing with Insurance Companies After an Accident
After an accident, it is important to protect your rights by dealing with the insurance companies in the right way. Here are some tips for dealing with insurance companies after an accident:
1. Do not give a recorded statement to the other driver’s insurance company without speaking to an attorney first.
2. Do not sign any documents from the other driver’s insurance company without consulting an attorney.
3. Be polite and cooperative when speaking with the representatives from the other driver’s insurance company, but do not provide any information beyond what is required.
4. Keep track of all correspondence and communication with the other driver’s insurance company.
5. Make sure you understand your own auto insurance policy before speaking with the other driver’s insurance company.
6. Contact your own auto insurance company as soon as possible after the accident.
7. Do not accept any settlement offer from the other driver’s insurance company without consulting an attorney first.
8. If you have sustained significant injuries, consider hiring a personal injury lawyer to help with negotiating with the other driver’s insurance company.
Leaving the scene of a car accident is a serious offense that can result in heavy fines and even jail time. If you are involved in a car accident, it is important to stay at the scene until the police arrive. Even if the accident is not your fault, leaving the scene may make you appear guilty. If you have any questions or concerns about what to do after an accident, it is best to speak with an experienced car accident attorney. Also, if you were injured in a car accident, you should never leave the scene until you have received medical attention and documented your injuries.