If you are ever involved in an accident, whether it is with other cars, an animal, someone’s property, or pedestrians, you should never leave the scene of the accident. If someone sees you leaving and you are reported, you are likely to face some penalties. Personal injury lawyers advise against this as they also know leaving the accident scene can prevent you from getting the compensation you need. Even if your car sustained more damage, but you fled, you risk losing a claim. In worst-case scenarios, you may be accused of being the one at fault. Here are some reasons why you should always remain at the scene after a car accident.
Evidence Can Disappear
One of the reasons an accident should be reported immediately is to collect evidence while it is still there. Once time has passed and things have been moved, it becomes hard to prove what happened. For instance, an injured victim can claim the other driver only tried braking after running the red light. Fresh tire marks at the scene can easily prove this. However, when many hours have passed after an accident, it can be hard to prove those tire marks are from the said accident. The liable party can claim that other cars have been passing there, so the tire marks could be from any other accident.
You Need an Accurate Police Report
One of the first things to do after an accident is to contact the police. They will write an accurate report of how the accident happened. If the driving conditions were unpleasant, the police write this down, which will help your case when dealing with the insurance company. When you take time before reporting an accident, the police will write a report based on hearsay. This leaves room for a lot of misinformation, and if you are the victim, you risk losing your compensation.
It Makes it Easy to Connect Your Injuries to The Accident
Staying at the scene and waiting for the police eliminates any doubt that your injuries and damage to your vehicle are related to the accident. It also makes it easier for your car accident lawyer to negotiate fair compensation for you. Leaving the scene creates a loophole that the liable party and the insurance company can use, preventing you from getting compensation.
You Could Be Accused of Being at Fault
Another reason you should never leave the accident scene before the police get there is to avoid being blamed for the accident. The other driver can claim you are the one that ran the red light and caused the accident. Because you left the accident scene, you do not even have witness information that can prove otherwise. If the other driver was the one to report the accident, then you become a suspect because innocent people do not flee. While being at the scene may not prevent you from being accused of fault, it gives you the chance to collect evidence that can help you prove otherwise.
Instance Where You Can Leave The Scene of an Accident
On some occasions, one is allowed to leave the accident scene. For instance, maybe you are in an area with no cell reception and want to report the accident. You can move to the closest residential or commercial sites, then contact the relevant authorities. Also, if you are in a dangerous location or there is the possibility of an explosion, move to a safer location and contact the police.
If you ever find yourself in a car accident, try composing yourself. It allows you to think clearly. After ensuring you and other people involved in the accident are safe, call the police and stay in the vicinity till they arrive.