Getting into an accident is an experience that can really throw you off balance. It is something you never want to happen, and when it does, it can be scary. You may not have a clue what to do afterwards. Should you stay and wait on law enforcement, or is it okay to leave? New York law outlines what you should and should not do.
One of the main issues with your actions after an accident is leaving the scene when you legally are not supposed to. This could bring criminal charges once you do speak with law enforcement. Here are three things to keep in mind to help avoid legal issues.
- You cannot leave if there are injuries
The New York State Unified Court System explains that under certain circumstances, it is against the law to leave an accident scene where someone is injured. If you do, you can face misdemeanor charges even if you were not the at-fault driver in the accident.
- You do not always have to stay for law enforcement
You do not necessarily have to wait for officers to show up on scene before leaving even if there is an injury. You do have to provide the other driver with information before leaving, though. You must give the other driver you name, address and insurance information. Also, you must report the incident to law enforcement as soon as possible even if you exchange information with the other party.
- You could face felony charges
If you leave the scene of an accident more than once, you could face a felony charge for your second offense. This could mean stiffer fines and possible jail time.
Leaving the scene of an accident is not a wise thing to do. It is very simple to avoid this charge just by exchanging information and ensuring you notify law enforcement.