What if someone leaves the scene of a car accident?
A road accident is a traumatizing event, and drivers react differently due to confusion, guilt, or fear. This is true if the driver fleeing the accident scene didn’t have a valid driving license, was under the influence of an intoxicating substance, or felt culpable for the car accident. Fleeing an accident scene is an offense under the federal criminal code and other Nova Scotia traffic regulations. If you must leave the accident scene, the law requires you to return immediately.
Drivers involved in auto accidents are legally obliged to give their address, name, insurance details, and contact information to law enforcement officers or other people involved in the crash. Unfortunately, some drivers don’t follow these laws. Here is what you should do if the other driver tries to flee the accident scene.
1. Try to get identifying information immediately
Right after the crash, the chances are that you will be in shock, injured, or both. However, it is crucial to get as much information on the fleeing driver as soon as possible. Note their car’s make, model, color, and license plate number. Use a phone camera to take pictures or record a video. This will help law enforcement officers identify the at-fault driver.
2. Call the police
Once you have recorded details that could help identify the person fleeing an accident scene, call the police. These details can help the investigating law enforcement officers to locate the fleeing party and place him or her under arrest for a hit-and-run offense.
As mentioned earlier, it is illegal to flee an accident scene when there is substantial property damage, and someone is injured. Having the law enforcement officials inspect the scene and create a report showing how, when, and where the accident happened is a valuable tool if you intend to file a personal injury claim.
3. Document the accident scene
The other driver has left, but you still have a recollection of what happened immediately before, during, and after the accident. It is essential to document the direction you and the alleged at-fault driver were traveling, the specific events you can remember that could have led to the accident, and the direction the suspected at-fault party fled to when he or she left the scene.
You can also take pictures showing the damage to your car, any skid marks on the road, the final position of your vehicle after the collision, the injuries you sustained, and more.
4. Don’t chase the fleeing driver
Several issues may arise when you decide to chase the driver fleeing an accident scene in Halifax. First, it messes with the crash scene, and that makes it hard for law enforcement officers to determine what happened. Secondly, you will be endangering yourself and other passengers in your vehicle. The at-fault driver could be speeding away from the accident scene, and if you must chase after them, the chances are that you will also need to speed up. This is dangerous.
Be sure to consult with a car accident lawyer to analyze your legal options.