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Should You Leave the Scene of an Accident?

April 20, 2017

shutterstock_508560925.jpgDo you know what to do after a car accident? Getting into a car accident is frightening. You would rather be safe and sound at home. Unfortunately, in almost all cases, leaving a car accident scene before the police arrive is the worst possible thing you could do. Leaving the scene early subjects you to potential fines or even jail time. Take the time to wait for the police to arrive before you go home or even contact an attorney while you wait.

When Only Vehicles Are Damaged

If the only damage caused in an accident is damage to the vehicles involved, your penalties for leaving the scene will not be as severe. You will be subject to a fine and two points on your license. This leads to higher insurance rates. Also, for your first offense, you will be charged a fine between $200 and $400, and/or go to jail for up to 30 days.

Injuries and Deaths

When a driver or passenger is seriously injured or dies, the penalties increase substantially. Leaving the scene subjects you to eight points on your license. Your fine increases to an amount between $2500 and $5000, and you may go to jail for up to five years. To the law, it does not matter whether you were at fault in the accident or whether you even knew the accident injured or killed someone. If you didn't wait to find out, you would face serious consequences.

What to Do After a Car Accident

Once you have been in a car accident, you need to wait for the police to arrive. If they ask you questions regarding the accident, answer them to the best of your ability. Let them know of any injuries or discomfort you feel. Afterward, be sure you report what happened to your insurer so the claims process can begin.

Staying at the scene of an accident is only the beginning of the process of recovery for your injuries. If you have been in an accident, contact Stern and Stern so we can help you get the recovery you deserve.