Leaving the scene of a car accident is first and foremost against the law. No matter how severe the accident, leaving the scene is a hit and run. Things can be unclear if there isn't another car involved, or if the other car unoccupied. It can also be confusing what to do if you or your property is hit and the driver flees. Here are some things to keep in mind if you find yourself in any of these situations.
If you are in a car accident, it's important to follow proper protocols with the law and with your insurance company. You should never leave the scene of an accident. It's crucial to file a police report to protect yourself from future lawsuits. By calling the police, you're able to document the case with a proper report. You should also make your own documentation and exchange information with the other driver. This protects you both. If they try to say the accident caused more damage than was on the initial report, you will have that report as your evidence.
If you hit an unoccupied vehicle or someone else's property, things are a little different. After filing a police report, you should make every reasonable effort to identify the owner. This can include knocking on someone's door, asking at a business nearby, or leaving sufficient details so the owner can contact you.
The last thing you want to do is leave the scene of an accident, but if you do, call a lawyer. The laws and penalties depend on the state and the severity of the accident, and your lawyer will help you navigate this. If there are no injuries, you may have to pay a fine or spend time in prison. If there are injuries, the penalty is more severe and can result in a large fine and several years in prison. The best thing to do is not leave the scene of an accident, but if you do, definitely hire a car accident lawyer near Garland.
You may also be the subject of a hit and run. If your car or property is hit and the driver doesn't leave information, record every detail of the incident including the damage, the make and model, the time of day and any relevant details. Then try to find someone who may have seen it happen. Check with businesses to find witnesses or security cameras. Next, file a police report. It's possible the driver hit other vehicles, or maybe even filed a report and just didn't leave you their information. The final step is to inform your insurance company. Most insurance policies cover hit and run incidents, but you will still be liable for the deductible.
While no one wants to be in a car accident, the unfortunate fact is that it can happen to anyone. The best thing to do to protect yourself is to follow the laws, file a police report, and have a trusted lawyer who can help you work out the stressful details.