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  • Writer's pictureTom Fowler

Leaving the Scene of an Accident Single Car

Updated: Feb 23, 2022

Many people, especially drivers, don’t understand how much a single-car accident can affect their lives until they’re in one. Even if their first thoughts include their own property damage and injuries, few consider the consequences of leaving the scene of an accident. Specific conditions can make leaving the scene of the accident a criminal matter.

Once someone is involved in an accident with another person, driver, pedestrian, or structure, and it is their fault, what one does next could keep them out of jail. To avoid compromising your future, below are important things to remember about leaving the scene of a car accident.

Legal Duties and Responsibilities of the Motorists at the Accident Scene

Legal Duties and Responsibilities of the Motorists at the Accident Scene

After a collision, the appropriate rules you must follow could be found in your Transportation Code or state’s Vehicle Code. In some states, like Texas, this information may be integrated into the set of regulations that govern crime or the Penal Code. Leaving the scene of an accident normally distinguishes it as a felony or misdemeanor, popularly called hit and run.

While it is vital to look at the specifics of regulation or law in your area, motorists normally need to follow some variation of these steps if they have been involved in an auto collision.

As soon as it is safe to do so, immediately stop the car and make sure you don’t disrupt traffic flow.

Search for other passengers, drivers, and those involved in a collision, and exchange or give them information such as name, address, contact or phone or cell phone number, insurance company name, and policy number, driver’s license, vehicle registration code, and the vehicle registered owner information.

Give reasonable assistance to wounded passengers and pedestrians. Contact 911 if necessary and give needed information to help emergency responders do their job.

Call local law enforcement or police officers to come to the scene and make a report, especially if the accident causes serious injury or death. They can also determine who is at fault.

If you leave and what is left is just an unattended vehicle or other damaged property, you should leave your contact information and other vital details in a safe location.

Is Leaving the Scene Where a Vehicle Accident Happens Worth it?

Many jurisdictions classify fleeing a car accident scene that causes property damage and injured person as a hit and run. It’s not uncommon for those to feel shaken up after they are involved in a traumatic case. You may feel the same way and fret about the results, largely if you are the one responsible. Despite how much you don’t want to cope with the aftermath, if you don’t handle it correctly by checking vehicles, passengers, and drivers for damages and exchanging insurance information and contact information, insurance premium hikes can be the least of your least worries.

What are the Penalties and Consequences for Fleeing or Leaving the Scene of an Accident?

Des Moines personal injury laws or regulations differ in how they categorize fleeing the scene of a vehicle collision as wrongdoing known as hit and run in some areas and setting the right punishment or compensation. However, crime is categorized as a felony or misdemeanor in all states, normally based on how serious the vehicle accident is.

The particular punishment or compensation charged will fall on the classification incident spectrum used in the state of the accident, ranging from a low-level misdemeanor being the least serious to a high-level felony being the most serious. So, a motorist who flees the scene of a single-car accident where just minor damage occurred may be charged with a high Level 3. In contrast, a motorist who leaves the scene of a serious accident might be charged with a Level 2 misdemeanor or felony. The range of punishment usually is categorized by ranging levels of misdemeanors or felonies.

For instance, in California, a motorist who flees the scene of a vehicle accident could be penalized by imprisonment in state prison or county jail for up to 12 months and might charge $1,000 up to $10,000. The motorist might be both imprisoned and charged for the same incident.

In the city of Texas, if a motorist flees the scene of a serious accident that leads to death, this is categorized as a Level three felony. It is penalized by five years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and a compensation of $5,000.

While particular penalty ranges normally are set out as fines if you leave the scene of an accident under regulations in a given state, an attorney has a good amount of scope in setting the real penalty under those limits or factors. Other charges like community service, restitution orders, and probation might be part of the offender’s sentence.

Hit and Run: Other Consequences

Hit and Run: Other Consequences

Criminal fines such as penalties and jail time are considered the most serious effects and consequences of fleeing the scene of a single-car accident or hit-and-run. On the other hand, for the fleeing motorist, the issues perhaps will not end there. The suspension or revocation of the driver’s license is possible. The suspension usually lasts up to 90 days to 180 days. It depends on how serious the incident or crash is; an expensive vehicle insurance hike will surely plague any motorist who flees the scene of a single-car accident. And if the fleeing motorist caused the crash, you can usually include a personal injury case to the claim list, fines, and penalties, particularly if wounds and injuries to others like passengers, drivers, and pedestrians or extensive property injuries caused from the collision. Searching for the best law firm that employs the best personal lawyer or attorney can help with your claim.


A car crash is an event that is not expected or intentional. According to Des Moines auto accident law, it doesn’t matter if you are aware of your doings or not. Even if the law doesn’t penalize drivers for not filing a police report about the car traffic accident, many insurers do through lessening settlement offers and, in most instances, not covering them. So, get in the habit of practicing correct after-collision etiquette to put off any legal complications.

If you want to know more about this, you could call an attorney or a lawyer via phone. You can visit the law firm website for legal advice and consultation. You can find useful information on this website. Tom Fowler is the person who knows what is the right thing to do, whether it is your fault or someone turned in front of you. Attorneys or lawyers know what is best for you and fight for you in the law of court. Just ensure that you present proof or evidence of your injuries to your attorney.

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