Snowy winter conditions can and will lead to many accidents. Generally speaking, being involved in an accident is NOT a crime. Leaving the scene of the accident IS a crime. If you are involved in an accident, do your best to move your vehicle to a safe position and then make contact with the other driver(s) to exchange insurance information and make sure everyone is OK.
What If The Other Driver Acts Aggressively Toward Me?
Every so often people are involved in an accident, and they exit their vehicle to exchange insurance information. Then, the are confronted by the other driver who is in a fit of rage. It can be a scary situation for everyone involved. An innocent accident can escalate to a very volatile situation. The problem is that the law requires you to engage with the other driver You are required to stay at the scene and provide your name, address, insurance company, policy number, vehicle license number and exhibit your driver’s license.
How Do You Comply With The Law If The Other Driver Is Putting Your Safety At Risk?
The threat faced in every situation is different, but we advise our clients to:
• Get in your car and lock the door
• From your locked car, call 911 at the scene if you determine it is safe to remain. Inform the operator of the accident / provide them your insurance information
• If it is not safe to remain at the scene, drive directly to the nearest police station to inform them of the accident / provide them your insurance information
It’s Better To Be Safe!
Remove yourself from the scene and get to a safe location. Inform the authorities of the accident and let them know why you felt you needed to leave the scene. Lots of people leave the scene and put the accident in their rear view mirror. Even if the person was a jerk to you, you still need to provide your information. Don’t let the jerk on the roadside be the cause of you getting a criminal charge for Hit and Run!
Witt Law Group is a criminal defense law firm based in Western Washington. We have offices in Gig Harbor, Bremerton and Poulsbo for your convenience.