Following a car accident, it’s easy to panic. This is especially true for the at-fault party, as they have the most at stake. Unfortunately, this prompts many drivers to leave the scene of an accident, and whether they know it or not, they just increased their chances of being charged and having a long list of consequences. Some common reasons at-fault parties here in the Tampa Bay area give for leaving the scene of the crime include:
Driving without a license
Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
Speeding and/or knowingly disobeying other traffic laws
Because drivers know these circumstances could leave them with lengthy lists of charges (and consequences) they might consider fleeing the scene, but that is never the best solution. So, what should a driver do following an accident, whether they were at fault or not? If injuries (or fatalities) have occurred, the very first thing you should do is call 9-1-1 and request help. Getting help for those who are hurt should be the top priority for everyone on site. Failing to do so can actually leave you liable.
If the injured party is able to speak and capable of taking your information, exchange information quickly. Having insurance and contact details on file for each party is an important part of handling the legal side of the accident in the days and weeks following the event. You should also document as much evidence as possible with photos. This is usually touted as a step for the victims, but the at-fault party should be just as proactive with gathering evidence. Stepping up and taking responsibility for the damages you caused isn’t just morally commendable. It can actually benefit you when it comes to your case.
Remember, failing to stay at the scene of an accident can bring large-scale consequences including fines and/or jail time. Don’t take that risk. If and when an accident comes your way, look to Brooks! Our practice serves clients throughout the Tampa Bay area in Central Florida, with a team that is experienced in vehicle accident and personal injury cases, and is more than equipped to handle your case. We take client care and communication seriously, and do our best to make sure you feel empowered and informed throughout your case. Call us for your FREE consultation!