Leaving the scene of an accident? Property damage caused by you from behind the wheel? If you think this can’t happen to you, or that it isn’t that “big a deal”…think again.
We live in a world full of surveillance cameras and people on their cell phones waiting to shoot some footage. So it’s pretty easy to get spotted leaving the scene of a traffic accident. If there is any kind of property damage (parked vehicles, trees, etc.) and/or injuries are involved in the accident from the scene which you flee, it is a very serious crime.
If you find yourself in this situation, the first thing you should do is make every attempt possible at identifying yourself and give the property owner all of your vital contact information. Just because they aren’t around doesn’t mean you can’t get into some major legal trouble.
Leaving the scene of an accident, that results in property damage without any injuries, is a misdemeanor. However, if you flee the scene and there is an injury involved you will be looking at a hefty fine, possible prison time and long lasting issues with your driving record. This is when you need an attorney by your side. There are some defenses you and your lawyer can come up with. Incapacitation is a defense that can be used if the driver has some form of medical disability or handicap. Another defense could be the driver’s lack of knowledge as to the severity of the accident, or believing that their life might be in danger if they stay at the scene of the accident.
The most important thing to remember is to not panic after an accident. It’s human nature to freak out when something like this happens.