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Do I Have To Stop Car If I Have An Accident?

Do I have to stop the car if I have an accident?  Hit and run penalties are severe. So if you don’t stop the car when you have an accident, you could be fined, sent to jail or both. This depends on the extent of the damage and/or injuries. You also could lose your driver’s license.

The law says you must stop your car if you have an accident, whether the accident involves a pedestrian, a moving car, a parked car or someone’s property.

If you drive away, you can be charged with hit and run even if the accident was not your fault. You must also exchange information with the other driver. You need to give them your name and driver’s license number, the vehicle identification number of the car you are driving, the name and address of the car’s owner, the name and address of your insurance company and your insurance policy number (or other evidence of financial responsibility, such as a bond posted with the Department of Motor Vehicles).

If you hit a parked car or other property, try to find the owner or driver. If you cannot, the law says you may drive away only after you leave behind, in a conspicuous place, your name, address and an explanation of the accident, and the name and address of your car’s owner (if other than yourself). You also must notify the local police either by telephone or in person as soon as possible.

You need to call the police if the accident caused a death or injury. An officer who comes to the scene of the accident will conduct an investigation. If an officer doesn’t show up, you must make a written report on a form available at the police department or office as soon as possible.

Do not volunteer any information about who was to blame for the accident. You may think you are in the wrong and then learn that the other driver is as much or more to blame than you are. You should first talk to your insurance agent, your lawyer or both.

Anything you say to the police or the other driver can be used against you later.
Don’t agree to pay for damages or sign any paper except a traffic ticket until you check with your insurance company or lawyer.

Be sure to cooperate with the police officer investigating the case. But, stick to the facts. For instance, if you were driving 30 miles an hour, say so. Don’t say, “I wasn’t speeding.” Say “I was only driving 30 miles an hour”.

Feel free to contact us for any questions at: 432-301-9252


Accident in Pleasanton, CA

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