If another vehicle collides with yours, you may wonder what the other driver’s duties are following the accident. For example, a driver who hits you in a vehicular collision must not leave the scene. Departing after an auto accident may not only cause you greater harm if you have suffered injury, but the other driver may incur criminal charges.
A recent case in Knoxville illustrates the kind of trouble a motorist can get into for not stopping at an accident scene involving serious injury to other parties.
Charges in a recent accident
Knoxville’s WVLT reported on an auto accident that occurred on a Sunday on I-640. According to Knoxville police, a man driving while under the influence impacted a vehicle and caused critical injury to a woman and minor injuries to a five year old. The driver departed the scene soon after. Later, the police placed the driver under arrest not only on suspicion for driving while under the influence, but for leaving the scene of an accident.
Requirements under law
Tennessee law is clear that any driver who has involvement in an accident must stop at the accident scene or as close to the scene as possible and remain there. This stipulation also applies to places like shopping centers, apartment complexes or trailer parks, anywhere where the public is likely to frequent.
The driver must fulfill a number of duties before departing the accident. The other driver must tell you his or her name, address and vehicle registration number. If you have suffered injury from the accident, the other driver must give you reasonable assistance, including arranging for first responders to show up if you cannot contact them. These measures may stop an injury from becoming more serious or even save your life.