Car accidents pose a very serious risk not only to the individuals directly involved in the accident but also to all the other drivers on the road. Cars are usually traveling at high speeds, so this risk is greatly magnified if the incident takes place on an interstate or busy highway. In order to maintain safety for everyone on the road, Indiana requires motorists to follow several procedures in the event of a car accident, and failure to comply with these procedures may result in criminal charges. In this blog, we discuss the steps Indiana laws require you to take following a car accident, and what consequences leaving the scene of an accident can have.
Indiana Law Requirements for Accident Victims
If you are involved in a car accident in Indiana, you are required to do the following:
- Stop and pull to the shoulder/out of the way of other drivers
- Get contact and registration information from the other driver
- Provide reasonable assistance
- Call the police*
*Technically you are not required to notify police if the damages from the accident surmount to a total of less than $1,000. However, these costs can be difficult to assess on your own, so you should always notify the police immediately even if you do not suspect damages to be over $1,000.
Other Things You Should Do
To protect your rights in the event of a car accident, there are several things you should do in addition to following the outlined procedure including:
- Checking on the safety of all involved in the accident
- Take as many photographs of the scene as possible
- Contact an attorney
What You Shouldn’t Do
Even if no injuries were sustained in the accident, the law still requires you to stop and exchange information with the other party. Failure to do this could result in a misdemeanor. You may stop your vehicle wherever you feel it is safest to do so, so merely moving your vehicle away from the wreckage or road will not be considered a hit and run. However, failure to comply with this procedure can be considered a felony in the following circumstances:
- Someone was critically injured
- Someone was killed
- You intentionally failed to stop
- You were intoxicated and caused serious injury
Unfortunately, the most common reason that drivers flee the scene of an accident is that they are intoxicated. Intoxicated drivers pose extreme danger to themselves and other drivers on the road, and everyone knows it’s against the law to drive drunk. So as a result, they will flee the scene of an accident out of fear of repercussions from the law which very well may equate to jail time.
If you or a loved one were injured in a car accident where the other driver fled or attempted to flee the scene, you may be viable to pursue a personal injury claim. Cases like these can quickly become expensive, and you deserve to be compensated for driver negligence that left you or a loved one injured, so don’t hesitate to reach out to an experienced Indiana attorney to find out how we can help you.
Contact an Indiana Car Accident Lawyer Today
If you are suffering from an injury and need help proving negligence in the accident, chances are that you are feeling overwhelmed and think this situation is too big to handle on your own. It’s not time to worry; it’s time to take care of yourself. Crossen Law Firm is here for you. Our Indianapolis personal injury lawyers are equipped with the knowledge and resources to help you with your claim and advocate for your best interests.