Craig P. Tiller, Esq. PLLC

Duties of Virginia drivers after an accident involving injury

Motorists in Virginia may be aware that if they are involved in a car accident involving injury or property damage, state law requires them to stop as close to the scene of the accident as possible without blocking traffic. If the accident causes an injury to another person, they are obligated by law to assist that person in any way possible; this includes transporting that person to a hospital for medical treatment if necessary or if the person requests it.

Moreover, all drivers involved in the car accident must provide their names, addresses, vehicle registration information and driver's license numbers to the owner of any property damaged and to anyone injured in the accident. They must also file a report containing this information with the local law enforcement agency or the Virginia State Police.

If the driver is unable to provide this information to the police at the time because of any injuries suffered in the accident, he or she must do so as soon as possible when able. The driver must also make a reasonable effort to locate the other people involved or affected by the accident to provide them with the required information.

If a driver fails to comply with these laws after a car accident, that driver could face criminal charges. If the accident only involved property damage and that damage did not exceed $1000, the non-compliant driver could face a Class 1 misdemeanor charge. If it involved more than $1000 in property damage or the injury or death of another person, that charge escalates to a Class 5 felony.

Any driver involved in a hit-and-run accident should report it to the police and collect as much information about the other vehicle as possible. This will help investigators locate the driver of the other vehicle so that they can properly complete their investigation. It could also help in a personal injury lawsuit once the other driver is found if the person who was struck by the hit-and-run driver chooses to file a claim. An attorney could use this information to assemble a clear picture of the other party's negligence in an effort to secure compensation for the losses suffered by the plaintiff.

Source: Legislative Information System, "ยง 46.2-894. Duty of driver to stop, etc., in event of accident involving injury or death or damage to attended property; penalty.", September 26, 2014

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