Accident Reporting and Your Responsibilities

Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Most people know that if they are involved in a motor vehicle accident, they should get information from the other driver(s) such as license, registration and insurance card, and call the police or emergency rescue if necessary for accident reporting.  This is just common sense and for your own protection. Unfortunately, many are unaware that there are strict legal rules about what you must do if you are involved in a motor vehicle accident.  These requirements vary, depending on the situation and the severity of the crash.
After an auto accident, including one involving a pedestrian, with injuries or death, or with damage to a vehicle or other property, a driver must stop and remain at the scene until he or she has provided information, including name, address, vehicle information and drivers’ license, to anyone else involved.  If anyone is injured, there is a further obligation to try to render aid by accident reporting or to get help for the injured party.  If there is no police officer at the scene, after providing information to the other parties, there is a further duty to then go to the nearest police headquarters and report the accident there.
If the accident involves damage to an unattended vehicle, such as a parked car, or other property, such as a sign or a light pole, the driver is required by law to try to locate the owner of the damaged vehicle or property and, if unable to do that, to attach to the damaged item a written notice with his name, address and tag number.
In all cases, where the accident results in injury or damage greater than $500, the accident must be reported to the nearest police authority by the fastest means possible—these days, probably by cell phone.
Do not block traffic unnecessarily.  If the vehicles are movable, they are to be moved out of the way and not obstruct the roadway.
Obviously, these requirements are designed to get help to anyone injured and to identify those involved.  Failure to comply with the law can result in substantial penalties.  In the case of a death, the failure to stop and report is a first degree felony—a major crime—punishable by up to 30 years in prison, with an even greater penalty if driving under the influence was involved.  In the case of an injury, it is a third degree felony, a crime serious enough to get up to 5 years in prison.  Even the failure to report a property damage accident is serious enough to risk a 60 day jail term.  This is certainly not something to take lightly.
In short, if you have an accident, be sure to follow the law yourself as well as getting the necessary information from others.  Please contact us if you have any questions or need our help.

Draper Law Office


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I have engaged Draper Law Offices for three (3) different accidents.  My experience with this firm has been excellent each time, with positive results in my favor.  Charles Draper kept me informed throughout the process of each claim.  He was always available when ever I needed him to answer any questions.
The staff could not have been more courteous and helpful to me.  They never made me feel that I was bothering them (and I called quite a lot, believe me).  After a while they seemed like family.
I certainly would engage Draper Law Office (Charles Draper) if another problem would occur.
My recommendation to other people as to Draper Law Office would be “FIRST” on my list.
They are true and loyal to their clients.
I thank them from the bottom of my heart.