You're driving to work and reach down to pick up a can that's rolling around on the floor when the car in front of you slams its brakes. The next thing you know, you've just rear-ended the car. You're already five minutes late to work and your boss has threatened to let you go if you arrive late to work one more time. After a moment of hesitation, the choice is made and you leave the scene of the accident. This is just one example of how you may experience a hit and run accident.
If you are involved in a car accident, you are required by law to stop your car at a spot that is safe to do so. While there are some variations in the details of what you should do from state to state, these are your duties and responsibilities after stopping your car:
- If there are injuries, call an ambulance and take care to give them your precise location. Certain states require that you give reasonable assistance, the specifics of which depend on the state.
- Contact the police so that they can render assistance and write a police report.
- Exchange information with the other driver(s), such as identification and contact info, driver's license numbers, license plate numbers and auto insurance information.
- Do not leave before the police have arrived and made their report. Do not leave before the ambulance has arrived and rendered assistance.
- If the accident involved property damage to a parked vehicle without a driver present, the owners should be notified and given your contact information. Call the police and wait for their arrival. If the owners aren't nearby, leave a note so the owner of the car can contact you.
Failure to meet the specific duties defined by your particular state can make you guilty of leaving the scene of an accident or "hit and run." Depending on the state, whether injury or death has occurred and the extent of property damage, the penalty for hit and run can be fines, license revocation or imprisonment.
Stay road safe. Call Hotwire Insurance at (858) 277-2719 for more information on San Diego auto insurance.