The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. Articles Why You Should Never Leave The Scene Of A Car Crash

Why You Should Never Leave The Scene Of A Car Crash

By Christopher Hoffmann  Jun. 28, 2019 9:11a

A car accident can cause emotions to cloud people’s judgment. At that particular moment, it may seem like the best thing to do is to leave the scene and get yourself as far as possible from the collision.

Whether this is done because of guilt or confusion is beside the point in the eyes of the law. Fleeing the scene of an accident means an individual is guilty of a hit and run, which can have several negative consequences.

In fact, it’s best not to leave the scene even if the car accident was not your fault.

What Does the Law Say?

Missouri law states drivers are obligated to remain at the scene of an accident where someone has been injured until authorities arrive. The law says you are guilty of a hit and run when you leave the scene of an accident you are involved in, not necessarily one you caused.

It is, as such, your responsibility to stop the vehicle, call the authorities and wait for them to arrive. The police may want to take your statement, and you should be there and fully cooperate to avoid suspicion.

What Happens If You Leave?

Particularly if the accident resulted in injuries, casualties or considerable property damage, the police will conduct an investigation to see what really happened. They will analyze all the forensic evidence they can gather, talk to witnesses, review security camera footage, and other evidence they may find.

If they discover you were also present and involved in the crash, this can raise suspicion and the police will justifiably wonder if you are guilty of causing the crash. Even if you’re not, because you did not wait for them at the scene, you are effectively exposing yourself to a lengthy police investigation.

Additionally, you could potentially open yourself to liability. If other victims of the car accident discover you are investigated by the police, they may file a compensation claim against you. You’ll have to defend yourself on multiple fronts even if the car accident wasn’t caused by you.

It Can Hurt Your Claim as Well

You may also have been injured in this car accident. As a result, you’ll need to file a compensation claim with the at-fault driver to receive coverage for your medical expenses. The problem is, if you are also guilty of fleeing the scene, it may prove difficult to get compensated for these expenses, as the insurance company will try to prove the reason why you fled was your own guilt.

What Should You Do?

Be responsible. If you’re ever involved in a car accident, no matter whose fault it is, stop and call the authorities on the scene to follow the procedure. Then, reach out to a St. Louis car accident attorney to see what your legal options for compensation are. Give us a call 24/7 at (314) 361-4242 for a FREE consultaion.

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