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Leaving the Scene of an Accident is Never a Good Idea

October 24, 2017

shutterstock_6251629.jpgWhen you first learn to drive, you learn not only how to drive safely, but what to do after a car accident as well. One critical lesson is never to leave the scene of an accident until after the police arrive. Not only do you face serious consequences for doing so, but you actually lose your first opportunity to protect yourself and your rights. It becomes harder for your attorney to help you recover damages for your own injuries.

Leaving Property Damage Behind

If you leave the scene of an accident where there is damage to property, you are subject to two points against your license and a fine between $200 and $400. Beyond this, you face up to 30 days in jail. If it happens more than once, the penalties grow. 

This can be any kind of damage: someone's yard, the curb, another vehicle, or even your own car. The threshold is only $250 in damage, which takes very little to reach. As much as a minor scrape or bump to your vehicle or someone else's can trigger penalties.

Personal Injuries

For even the most minor fender-bender, what to do after a car accident is wait for the police. If someone is injured, the penalties for leaving increase dramatically. If someone is injured or killed, the fine jumps to between $2,500 and $5,000. You also face up to six months in jail and a year of license suspension.

The Police Report

Finally, even apart from the penalties, what to do after a car accident is wait for the opportunity to tell your story. The police report serves as an official record of what happened. You are legally required to report your accident, and it lets you get your account of what happened in writing. You will never know what happened as clearly as right after the accident, so it is your chance to record all the details.

If you have been injured in a car accident, you need to start preparing right away. Contact Stern and Stern to help get the recovery you deserve.