“Hit and Run” is any accident in which the driver of a vehicle doesn’t stop after colliding with another vehicle, person or property.
If you are involved in an accident and don’t stop to discuss the incident with the other party, when the other party is present on the scene, then you may be penalized by the police for your actions, whether it’s your fault or not.
In a situation where you hit or damage someone’s vehicle when they are not present, you may be confused about the actions you should take. For example, you hit an empty car standing in a parking lot and don’t know what to do. In such a situation, if you decide to leave the scene, you are obligated by law to leave behind information for the owner that they can use to contact you.
Let’s consider the hit and run law implemented in the state of California as an example. In the state, it’s your legal obligation to try and find the vehicle’s owner if they are absent from the scene. If you fail to locate the vehicle’s owner, you are required to leave a note containing your name, address as well as your version of the accident. The note must be placed in a conspicuous location.
In case the care you are driving is not yours, then you also need to mention the name as well as address of the owner in your note. Though this example is of California, it is a good idea to follow this procedure in your state when there’s no one there to gather your information.
According to California law, it is also mandatory to inform the local police department about the accident, in person or by phone. Similar laws have been implemented in several other states. To find out the laws of your state regarding hit and run situations, you can contact your Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) or the local police office – they should be able to inform you about the laws and what you should be doing if you are involved in a hit and run incident,
whether you were the victim or the culprit.
Usually state laws mandate that a motor vehicle driver who is involved in an accident does not leave the scene before identifying himself/herself and providing
certain information to the other party as well as the police. These statutes are not considered to violate the involved person’s privilege against self-incrimination because they call for acts that are neutral, performed without any intention of admitting guilt, and do not pose more than an insignificant problem of self-incrimination.
If you are involved in a hit and run accident, you should act according to the law of your state. There are a variety of ways you can research your state and municipal laws. A simple search in your favorite search engine can do the trick. However, when you are researching laws, it is important that you get your information from a reliable source. Reliable sources include each state’s Department of Motor Vehicle, as well as the National Traffic and Safety Administration.