The roads in New York can be hazardous at the best of times. Unfortunately, this means the accidents are a frequent occurrence. Vehicular accidents are an unpleasant experience for anyone involved.
If you panic and leave the scene of a wreck, however, that could be disastrous.
Leaving the scene of an accident when property has been damaged
The law in New York dictates that drivers have certain obligations when involved in an accident that leads to property damage. Vehicle operators are expected to promptly stop their vehicles and provide the other party with their driver’s license, insurance details, full legal name and residential address.
In cases where drivers have hit a stationary object, such as a parked car, they are expected to file a report with the nearest available police department. Any failure to meet these legal requirements could amount to a traffic violation. Potential penalties include a maximum of $250 fine and/or 15 days in jail. Crucially, incidents that result in major property damage could carry stiffer penalties.
Leaving the scene of a wreck when a person has been injured
Naturally, incidents that involve human injury are regarded as being more serious. NY VTL §602 requires a person to report all accidents that result in injury to a person to the police. Failure to meet the above requirements could amount to a criminal offense. Incidents that result in minor injuries can carry penalties of fines up to $1000 as well as up to a year in jail.
Importantly, leaving the scene of an accident where a person has been severely injured or killed is considered a serious criminal offense and the potential penalties are much more grave.
Understanding the potential consequences of traffic offenses in New York could be in your best interests. If you are accused of traffic violations or criminal offenses, it is important to remember that you have legal rights. An experienced defense can help you get your life back on track.