Why You Shouldn’t Leave The Scene of a Vehicle Collision

After being in a car accident, you are likely to experience a huge rush of stress hormones that make you more apt to take action if needed but it can also cloud your sense of judgement. While you may be tempted to partake in a swift getaway from the site of a vehicle collision, this tactic rarely ends well, and typically results in even worsened consequences. Your getaway could fail due to witnesses who saw the accident happen and were able to take down your license plate, street cameras captured images of your vehicle, and officers responding to the scene were able to track you down in the hours afterwards. 

What details do I need to get from the other driver?

Drivers who were involved in a car accident with another driver, must halt at the scene and pull off to the side of the road if they are in the way of traffic. Then, they must exchange insurance information and other contact details with each other so they have what they need to report the incident to their insurance company. Here is a complete list of everything you should gather from the other driver:

  • Full name as written on their driver’s license or other form of identification
  • Driver’s license number
  • Current address
  • Phone number and email address
  • Insurance policy number, company name, and contact
  • Vin number
  • Car description (make, model, year)

If you move your vehicle, ensure that it is relatively near the accident scene so you can walk over and take pictures as evidence. Remain at your location until officers and first responders arrive, who can assess injuries of both drivers and passengers, along with writing an official report of what happened. The officer taking down the report can give you information on how to obtain a copy of it at a later date.

What if I was in a car accident with a hit-and-run driver?

If you notice that a car driver you just got into a collision with is quickly making a turn and getting out of there, you must act calmly and promptly. Do not yell at or try to follow the driver, as they could be dangerous. Instead, try to get a good glimpse at what the driver looks like, license plate number, and/or vehicle description. If you have something in your car to take notes on, then write down these observations so law enforcement can more easily track the driver down: 

  • The driver’s physical description, such as skin color, hair color, approximate age and height, gender, articles of clothing, etc. 
  • Witnesses who have additional information that they saw regarding the driver and/or vehicle
  • The vehicle description, such as make/model/year, license plate number (or at least the state of the license plate can be useful), distinguishing features, what direction he or she headed, and any recent damage that you could see on the vehicle from the accident. 

If you’ve been involved in a car accident, be sure to contact a law office right away to set up a consultation with the car accident lawyer in Indianapolis, IN.


Thanks to Ward & Ward Law Firm for their insight into personal injury claims and why to stay at the scene of a car accident.