Is it illegal to leave the scene of an accident?

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Is it illegal to leave the scene of an accident?

I was involved in an accident where a truck stopped in the middle of the road and when Icame around the corner. I didn’t have time to stop so I ran in to him and he sped off with out even seeing if there was any damage. My car was totaled.

Asked on September 12, 2011 under Accident Law, Washington

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

In all states in this country there are laws requiring that if one is involved in an automobile accident that regardless of perceived fault that he or she is required to stay at the scene and assist. Additionally addresses, names and telephone numbers are required to be exchanged.

In most instances a charge of leaving the scene of the accident is a misdemeanor and depending upon the amount of damages and injuries sustained, leaving the scene could be a possible felony.

You need to file a claim with your insurance carrier about what happened if you have not done so as well as assist police in any further investigation. Most likely your claims representative will request that you provide a recorded statement as to what happened since you were apparently the only witness to the incident.


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