Certain collisions seem too minor for you to stop and stay at the scene. However, doing so could put you in a tough spot.
The law has provisions for evading responsibility in traffic accidents. After an accident, involved drivers should remain at the crash scene to give assistance and coordinate with authorities or other drivers as needed.
If a driver fails to comply with these duties after a crash, it is considered an evading responsibility offense. They might face severe penalties based on the circumstances.
Committing this violation comes with the following sanctions, depending on the damages caused by the collision:
- Fatal or severe injuries: Two to 20 years imprisonment, fines up to $20,000 and one to two years of license suspension, depending on the situation.
- Physical injuries or property damage: A maximum of one-year imprisonment, license suspension and $75 to $600 worth of fines for the first offense. Subsequent violations could lead to a maximum of $1,000 worth of fines and an extended license suspension period.
Additionally, charges could pile on top of the evading responsibility violation. Sometimes, authorities might add assault, manslaughter and other charges based on the collision’s details.
What should I do right after a crash?
Your actions right after the collision could affect what happens later. You could avoid additional charges and determine the next steps by taking the following measures:
- Check yourself and others for injuries and provide help as needed.
- Cooperate with other involved drivers and authorities.
- Do not admit fault at the scene.
Naturally, you might feel confused and overwhelmed at the scene of an accident. However, staying calm and following the legal procedures are essential to help you avoid problems later.