If you fail to stop your car after an accident there is the possibility of a custodial sentence whether the accident is your fault or not. If you receive a notice asking for information about who the driver of your car was at the time of a particular accident, take advice before responding - how you answer the notice could impact on your ability to defend yourself.
Common misunderstandings can include:
You have to report all accidents to the police
If you are involved in an accident and exchange details with the other driver, you do not need to report an accident to the police.
If you have not been able to exchange details with another driver, you must report the accident to the police regardless of the reasons.
You have up to 24 hours to report an accident to the police
The law does not allow you 24 hours to report. The law states that you should report an accident as soon as practicable. You are unlikely to be prosecuted if you go home to pick up your documents before going to the police station, however you must not wait longer than 24 hours to report an accident.
You shouldn’t leave the scene unless you have found the owner of the other vehicle/property
Whilst the law does not require you to go and seek out the owner of a parked car, if they are nearby exchanging details will make the process after an accident significantly easier. If you are not able to exchange details because they cannot be found, you do not have to wait at the scene but you must report the incident to the police.
If you find yourself issued with a notice of an accident that you don’t believe you were involved in, take expert advice immediately. We can help and advise you on gathering evidence and dealing with the police – ensure that you have been given advice from an expert before you are called to interview with the police.
For further information on Failing to Stop at the scene of an accident contact our Motoring, Crime and Regulatory Team on 01279 755777 or contact Dan Hart, Solicitor Advocate in our Motoring, Crime and Regulatory Team.