The majority of drivers manage to get to their destinations safely each day. Nonetheless, road traffic collisions do happen and the consequences of these can be serious.
It’s not always easy knowing how to respond after a collision. You may be filled with adrenaline and panic, unsure what to do. Your first instinct may be to get out of there. Are you legally obliged to stay at the scene after a crash in Florida?
If there is property damaged
Sometimes, accidents result in nothing more than near misses for those involved. This is rarely the case though, and there is usually at least some damage to property. Sections 316.061- 316.063 Florida Statutes require drivers to remain at the scene of a crash that has caused property damage. The name, address and contact details of the driver must be provided to the owner of the damaged property, as well as vehicle registration numbers. Drivers must also not obstruct law enforcement in the course of their investigations.
If the owner of the damaged property is not immediately available, then the driver must make reasonable efforts to locate them. Failing this, a note with the above details should be securely attached and left on the vehicle or damaged property. A report should also be made promptly to the local police department.
If someone has been injured
Not surprisingly, it is also an offense to leave the scene of an accident when a person has sustained bodily harm. Florida Statutes 316.062 and 316.027, outline the law in this area. As well as taking the steps outlined above, drivers also have a duty to offer “reasonable assistance” to injured parties.
Leaving the scene of an accident can result in hefty fines and even prison sentences when a person has been injured or killed. If you are facing criminal charges of this kind, make sure you have a full understanding of your legal rights.