Ask anyone who has been involved in a car accident, and they will tell you about the rush of adrenaline. Your body goes into fight or flight mode. Unfortunately, this response is not helpful.
So when you’re involved in a car accident. The incident can sometimes cloud your judgment, prompting you to make poor decisions. You may even think it’s a good idea to leave the scene of the accident. Although the impulse to leave is understandable, you should never under any circumstances leave the scene of a car accident. Not until you have had time to evaluate the situation and speak with an officer.
Apart from the fact that this may affect your ability to obtain or claim compensation, leaving the scene of a car accident is also illegal. Unfortunately, this happens too often leading to sorts of legal consequences.
It is crucial to recognize the issues and problems when leaving the scene of a car accident. Below are the impacts that one has to deal with or can be avoided when engaged in an accident.
Fines and Payments
Getting into a car accident already means an extra financial burden. If you are at fault, you will be liable for the hospital and medical expenses of the parties injured or if you are the one injured, you will end up not being able to go to work which means no income depending on the severity of your injuries.
Add to that the fines you will have to pay if someone is injured or property is damaged when fleeing an accident. Instead of paying those hefty fines, it is much better to stay at the scene of a car accident and deal with the authorities. Whether you like it or not, this is the right thing to do.
Running away from the scene of an accident will potentially lead to losing your freedom. Regardless of where the accident happened, whether it is damaged property or has caused a minor injury, fleeing from the scene is considered hit and run.
The legal consequences become more dreadful if someone is seriously injured or worst, killed. A misdemeanor can lead up to a year of jail time while a felony can get you up to 15 years behind bars.
Losing Your License
This may sound least serious but having your license suspended or revoked is still a consequence you will have to face when you leave the scene of a car accident. A suspended license means you won’t be able to drive temporarily while a revoked license cannot be reinstated.
As a result, you will have to apply for a new license, pass the tests, pay fines and fees, and wait until your license is available. Although losing your license is a light consequence, leaving the scene of a car accident is still not advisable.
Impacts Your Ability to File Claim
Leaving the scene can make it difficult for you to file a claim regardless if it is a third-party claim or a no-fault insurance claim.
Speaking to the authorities will make the claim process seamless provided that you have the necessary documentation like a police report to support your insurance claim. Minor property damages, minor injuries, or fatal accidents resulting in someone being killed, you must never leave the scene of a car accident.
So, the fact is simple, after an accident, stay put! Don’t move a muscle. Wait for the police and keep calm while you do so. You whatever else you had going on that day is not officially cancelled, postponed and can wait. So keep your cool. You’re going to be fine!