" Abiding By Law In The Event Of An Auto Accident "

By Somdev Mukherjee

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Meeting with an auto accident may be unfortunate, but it is certainly not that improbable. You never know when you too may suddenly meet with an accident while moving on your vehicle. So, it is always good for you to learn up about the best course of action in an auto accident situation keeping in with legal provisions.

There is the opinion that over ninety percent of auto accidents are caused owing to some kind of negligence on the part of the drivers. Hence it is held that usage of the term accident is not quite suitable. The legal consequences in relation to the auto accident that are to follow are determined by the severity of the accident. However, all common law jurisdictions impose some kind of requirement of the parties involved in the auto accident to stop at the accident scene. This is usually equally applicable even in case the collision has involved only stationary property.

What the parties concerned need to do is stop at the scene of the accident and exchange insurance or identification information or call forth the police. It is important to comply with this legal requirement. Otherwise the action will be termed as hit and run. This is considered as a criminal offense.

Here is a checklist of things you need to take care of in the unfortunate event of meeting with an auto accident:

  • Remain at the scene of accident till the police arrive and confirm that you can leave the scene. Leaving the scene of accident prior to police‚Äôs arrival and confirmation may affect the license sanctions of the driver. It may even lead to criminal charges being framed.
  • Some person(s)may have become injured by the accident. If you have received training in the administration of first aid then you can try and help out. However, the injured person must certainly not be moved from the site.
  • You need to make sure that the police are called up and the accident is reported. The number of persons injured is to be mentioned as this will be helping in the deployment of sufficient number of emergency personnel to attend to the accident scene.
  • If the accident has taken place on the roadway then make sure that the flashers are turned on or flares are made use of. This is to signal to the traffic approaching that an accident has taken place.
  • Be careful to not admit any fault or liability unnecessarily. It is quite possible that you are unaware of several factors that may have caused the accident and the other driver or person concerned is in reality more at fault. Simply relate the facts to the police. They can draw conclusions from facts that become apparent.
  • Do not make statements to any person at the auto accident spot. Let the police arrive and make statements only to the police.
  • In case of any accident resulting in injury immediate medical care and attention is of crucial importance. So, as soon as the legal obligations are completed medical attention is to be sought.

The parties responsible for an auto accident stand to face criminal liability or civil liability or even both. A prosecution may also be started by the state in certain cases where someone has been severely injured or killed. However, most auto claims are settled without bringing into an attorney into the scene. Keeping in mind the points mentioned in the above checklist can go a long way to avoid much legal hassle.


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Somdev Mukherjee is a Kolkata (India) based writer of articles, short stories, poems and web content related to finance, mortgage, debt consolidation, insurance, laws and other topics of interest.


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