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6 Things to Know Before Leaving the Scene of an Accident

January 11, 2013
By The Wiseman Law Firm

If you have been in accident involving property damage or personal injury, you are legally required to give certain required information. This includes your driver’s license number, home address, auto insurance company and policy number, and registration information.

If you are for any reason considering leaving the scene of an accident, there are a number of things about Florida law of which you should be aware before you take this action.

  1. Any kind of damage to another vehicle including scratches or scrapes is enough to warrant your leaving your identifying information if the other party is present or not.
  2. If there is any possibility that an injury or property damage has occurred, you must at least give your identifying information to the other involved party or parties or wait for police if called. Should the injured party be absent or unable to receive the information, you must report the accident to the nearest police station along with your required information.
  3. If there is an injury, Florida law obligates you to render assistance by calling for medical aid, transporting the injured party or arranging for transportation to a medical facility or professional.
  4. Leaving the scene of a property damage accident without giving the required information is a Second Degree Misdemeanor, which carries a possibility of up to 60-days in jail and fine up to $500.
  5. Leaving the scene of a injury accident is a Third Degree Felony. You face up to 5 years in jail, 5 years of probation and a fine up to $5,000.
  6. Leaving the scene of an accident with a death involved is a First Degree Felony with potential state prison time of up to 15 years, including a maximum minimum of 21-months in prison, along with a fine up to $10,000 and 15-years of probation.

The main lesson here is to always leave your required information whenever there is an accident, regardless of how minimal it may appear or how serious the consequences may appear to you. The coverup is often worse than the underlying crime in many circumstances.

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