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What Happens If You Leave The Scene of an Accident?

November 23, 2022

what happens if you leave the scene of an accident

What Happens If You Leave The Scene of an Accident?

The suddenness of a car accident can be shocking. In the aftermath of a crash, drivers may panic and consider leaving the scene, especially if they and their car suffered little to no damage. However, this choice can leave a driver open to serious criminal charges, particularly in cases where the crash caused injuries to others. It is essential to understand your legal responsibilities when you are involved in a car crash and know the steps you need to take to avoid potentially devastating consequences.

What Are You Required to Do if You Are Involved in a Nevada Car Accident?

If you are involved in a car accident in Nevada, it is your legal duty to render reasonable aid to anyone hurt in the crash if you are physically able. If you only stop to exchange your information but do not help the injured parties, you could still face legal penalties. “Reasonable aid” may include helping them out of their vehicle, calling 911, or bringing them to a nearby emergency room for treatment. 

If the accident involves property damage, injury, or death, you must provide the other parties and any investigating officers with your information, including:

  • Your name
  • Address
  • Driver’s license information
  • Vehicle registration number

If you strike a parked car or cause other property damage and no one is present, you must leave your information in a note on the vehicle and contact the police to inform them of the accident.

What Penalties Could You Face for Leaving the Scene of an Accident?

Leaving the scene of an accident in Nevada can result in a hit-and-run charge. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, you may be charged with a misdemeanor or felony hit-and-run charge. Generally, if the accident involved injuries or deaths, the charge is increased to a felony. However, a misdemeanor hit-and-run charge is still a significant legal issue that could result in jail time. The penalties for a hit-and-run charge may include:

  • Misdemeanor hit-and-run: A fine of up to $1,000, up to six months in jail, and up to six demerits on your license.
  • Felony hit-and-run: A fine of up to $5,000, a minimum of two years to a maximum of 20 years in prison, court-ordered restitution, suspension or revocation of your license, and parole or probation.

Why Should You Contact a Lawyer as Soon as Possible After Your Accident?

No one anticipates being involved in a crash, and it can be a traumatic experience. Many people leave the scene of an accident because they are scared, confused, or in shock and their first instinct is to run. If you contact a trusted car accident lawyer, they can walk you through the process and ensure that you take all the steps required by law. While any hit-and-run charge is serious, the most severe penalties come into play in accidents where someone left the scene when there were injured victims, so the health and safety of anyone involved in the crash should be prioritized.

If you have been involved in an accident and don’t know what to do next, contact our office immediately for the clear, compassionate help you need: (702) 707-5934.

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