An arrest was made this week in the hit-and-run of a 13-year-old girl in Sarasota County. On Wednesday, police took David Chang into custody for hitting the teen when she was riding her bike across the crosswalk of her school. The accident happened on East Bay Street (at Old Venice Road) in a known school zone, just miles from where the suspect lived. His smashed windshield tipped off a neighbor who contacted the authorities, and he was arrested for damage to property with bodily injury and tampering with evidence.

This suspect had a clean driving record, a valid license, and no real reason (that we can see) to be afraid of authorities, so why would he leave the scene? Because, according to him, he was scared. That response leaves us thinking about how you should respond immediately following an accident, and we’re sharing a few tips to make sure you’re prepared if and when you find yourself in the situation.

The most important thing to remember is NEVER leave the scene of a crime. Even if an accident was your fault, and you were driving while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, were distracted, or made a poor decision regarding speed or a stoplight, it will always lead to worse consequences if you leave the scene. With that in mind, immediately following an accident you should:

  • Call for help. No matter the size of the accident, calling 9-1-1 is always advisable.
  • Assess the situation. If you are able, check on others at the scene, and help as needed.
  • Document the scene. Take photos of your vehicle, other vehicles, any other property damage, and even what the scene looks like from multiple angles. The more documentation you have, the better, regardless of who was at fault.
  • Exchange information. Make sure to exchange information with other drivers at the scene. You’ll also need to give your information to officers as they arrive.
  • Contact your attorney. Unless injury prevents you from doing so, contacting your attorney ASAP following an accident is key to having them achieve the best possible outcome for your case.

Don’t leave an accident scene and face additional charges and consequences like expensive fines or prison time. Make the smart choice and follow our tips to protect yourself and your case. When you’re in an accident, the team at Brooks Law Group is here for you. We represent clients throughout the Tampa Bay area and are experienced in getting the compensation they deserve following an accident. When the unexpected happens to you, Look to Brooks!

Steve was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. As was the practice for new doctors his father worked day and night during his medical residency at Charity Hospital there. Steve comes from a long line of doctors. His father, his grandfather, his great grandfather, even two uncles were all specialists and/or surgeons in their chosen medical specialties, including internal medicine specialist, obstetrics / gynecology, neurosurgery and general practice / surgery. His great-great grandfather was the Surgeon General of Ohio during the Civil War.