The scene of a car accident can be a confusing and nerve-racking place for everyone involved, but there are steps you have to take immediately after a collision to strengthen your subsequent claim and avoid criminal charges. Losing your head in the heat of the moment may be tempting – especially if another driver’s negligence caused your crash – but making any misguided statements could reduce your chance of recovering fair compensation for your losses.
By far, the worst thing you can do after a car accident is flee the scene. Whether or not you were at fault, you could be charged with a serious hit and run violation if you leave the scene of the crash. Sadly, USA Today has reported that the number of fatal hit and run accidents has been trending upward since 2009, despite the fact that most states impose strict penalties on offenders.
If you were involved in a crash with a negligent driver who then left without providing their details or waiting for the authorities to arrive, contact a Gary personal injury attorney at Marshall P. Whalley & Associates, PC to discuss your case. Our car accident lawyers have won several multi-million dollar cases for our clients. Call 219-769-2900 to schedule a free consultation.
Am I Allowed to Leave the Scene of a Car Accident in Indiana?
After a car accident, you should find a safe spot to pull over and then determine if anyone was injured. If you were directly involved in the crash, Indiana law requires you to exchange your contact and car registration information with the other driver, and if there were any injuries or property damage worth $1,000 or more, you must contact the police.
You can be charged with a felony for committing a hit and run in a crash that resulted in serious or fatal injuries. If there were no injuries involved, failing to stop and exchange your contact information can result in misdemeanor charges.
Here is a brief breakdown of the information you should exchange with the other driver at the scene:
- Name, address and contact details;
- Driver’s license numbers;
- License plate number;
- Make and model of the vehicles;
- Auto insurance information for the motorists involved;
- Names and contact details of witnesses; and
- Names and badge numbers of all police officers who were at the scene of the accident.
If you were involved in a crash and you have questions about your rights and responsibilities, a personal injury attorney at Marshall P. Whalley & Associates, PC can provide the guidance you need. Over the past 30 years, we have built a strong reputation litigating complex, high-value personal injury and wrongful death cases. Call 219-769-2900 to schedule your free consultation with one of our car accident lawyers today. To learn more about car accident claims in Indiana, visit USAttorneys.com.
Marshall P. Whalley & Associates, PC
1499 Martin Luther King Drive, #64215
Gary, IN 46401