Philadelphia is one of America’s most populated cities. Such a densely populated area is bound to have its fair share of traffic-related accidents. Philadelphia has the ninth most accidents, per capita, of any city in the nation.
It doesn’t matter whether this is a consequence of frequent traffic, the expected complications when dealing with a city with rather an old infrastructure, or other factors; the bottom line is that the more you drive in Philadelphia, the more likely you are to get into a Philadelphia car accident lawyer.
Most car accidents are minor, and it is the policy of Philadelphia police departments that do not to respond to accidents they deem to be minor. As such, if you are involved in an accident with another driver or stationary vehicle where there was no apparent injury to drivers, passengers, or patrons and no damage to physical property besides the involved vehicle(s), the police need not be contacted. That said, you are required by law to stop and exchange information with involved parties.
Often, young or intoxicated motorists can fluster after an accident, prompting them to flee the scene before exchanging information or checking if the other party is okay. Not only does this endanger the other party’s safety, but it also endangers their own.
If they have been injured during the collision or the car has been damaged, driving may cause further complications to their health and vehicle. In Pennsylvania, all motorists involved in a car accident must adhere to several protocols immediately after that, more importantly, as soon as they are pulled over.
What happens if you are involved in an accident where someone was injured, or damage was done to surrounding property, and you leave the scene and/or fail to contact the police? At this juncture, you may be faced with significant legal problems and require the assistance of counsel.
What Happens if I Fail to Report an Accident?
If you fail to stop and exchange information with other parties, you can be charged with Hit-and-Run. Pennsylvania law also requires that you stay at the scene and provide assistance to any injured parties.
Failing to do so will result in the same and other potential criminal charges. Hit-and-run is no minor offense. The penalties may be severe, and depending upon the nature of the physical damage to property or the extent of injury to persons, a charge of hit-and-run may result in fines, loss of license, and jail time.
If a person is injured, you are also required to call the police immediately. Failing to do so can result in further criminal liability. You must inform the owner if you hit a parked vehicle.
If they are not immediately available or unknown to you, you must leave a note providing all the information you would go to another driver (name, address, phone number, license plate number, and insurance information). You also need to report the incident to the police. Again, failure to do so can result in significant civil and criminal penalties.