A friend left the scene of an accident with only damage to the car that she was driving and no injuries. How severe is this? Is this a criminal offense?
There was no injury and only damage to her car, in which she left at the scene.
Car / Auto Accident Lawyer
Yes. Leaving the scene of an accident is a criminal offense in most states, including the State of Georgia. Your friend violated Georgia State Law if she failed to comply with any of the requirements of the following statute.
The Statute 40-6-270.
(a) The driver of any vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury to or the death of any person or in damage to a vehicle which is driven or attended by any person shall immediately stop such vehicle at the scene of the accident or shall stop as close thereto as possible and forthwith return to the scene of the accident and shall:
(1) Give his name and address and the registration number of the vehicle he is driving;
(2) Upon request and if it is available, exhibit his operator´s license to the person struck or the driver or occupant of or person attending any vehicle collided with; and
(3) Render to any person injured in such accident reasonable assistance, including the transporting, or the making of arrangements for the transporting, of such person to a physician, surgeon, or hospital for medical or surgical treatment if it is apparent that such treatment is necessary or if such transporting is requested by the injured person.
The driver shall in every event remain at the scene of the accident until fulfilling the requirements of this subsection. Every such stop shall be made without obstructing traffic more than is necessary.
The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Response is for informational purposes only. Time is of the essence. Do not delay. See a lawyer immediately.
Car / Auto Accident Lawyer
If there was no damage to the other vehicle and no injury she may be OK of she did at least stop and exchange information. If not, this IS in fact a criminal offense in Georgia as outlined above and your friend should seek legal counsel immediately. She should also notify her insurance company in compliance with her reporting requirements or her coverage could be jeopardized. This could become critical if some damage to the other driver’s vehicle is discovered or they do claim injury.
Steven I. Goldman
GOLDMAN & ASSOCIATES
The Equitable Bldg. - Suite 2020
100 Peachtree Street, N.W.
Atlanta, GA 30303
(404) 577-9556 (fax)
Personal Injury Lawyer
Leaving the scene of an accident is a criminal offense.
Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to insure proper advice is received.
DUI / DWI Attorney
This is considered a misdemeanor in the state of Georgia.
If there was only damage to her car, then under Georgia law, it may not even be considered an accident. I would show up to court and speak to the prosecutor. Your best bet would be to hire an attorney to help you navigate this matter as this is not legal advice.