Can You Leave the Scene of an Accident with No Injuries?

Feb 1

Imagine a scenario where you were inching along on your way from work. Your car gently collides with another vehicle in a quiet intersection in South Bend, Indiana. Luckily, there are no injuries, no damages, not even a scratch, from the momentary lapse in attention. In this situation, you and the other driver exchanged relieved glances, acknowledging the fortunate outcome. 

So, what do you do? Do you leave immediately and go on your way?

The legal team at Blackburn Romey advises those involved in an accident with no injuries not to leave the scene. This is majorly important in that it will allow you to exchange basic information that your insurance may require in case you need to file a claim. 

Read on to discover why leaving the accident scene, even if there are no injuries, is not advisable.


The Other Driver Might Get Creative

When a car accident occurs and it’s not immediately documented, some drivers may resort to shifting blame or exaggerating damages. This includes claiming major damages that were not apparent after the accident. Therefore, staying at the scene allows you to provide an accurate account of the events and prevent the other party from manipulating the situation to your disadvantage. 


It Is Against the Law

Indiana Code 9-26-2-1 and 2 mandate a law enforcement officer investigate and fill out a police report for most types of accidents, including those involving injury, death, or property damage exceeding $2,500. The law requires the parties involved in the accident to remain at the scene and comply with the legal provisions of IC 9-26-1-1.1. If you leave, this might constitute hit and run and may attract serious legal repercussions, including fines, license suspension, or even criminal charges.


There Might be Other Issues 

Allowing time for law enforcement to arrive at the accident scene may reveal additional issues that can significantly affect the situation. These include discovering insurance lapses, a suspended or invalid registration or license, or potential impairment of the other driver. 


Some Injuries Aren’t Immediately Apparent

While everyone involved in an accident may seem fine initially, some injuries may not manifest immediately. Adrenaline and shock can mask pain, and issues like brain injuries may take time to become apparent. Staying at the scene and documenting the situation records the exact time and date of the incident, which is key according to the Indiana statute of limitations for personal injury claims.


Consult an Indiana Car Accident Attorney 

Accidents that leave no injuries are not without legal repercussions. The parties involved may find themselves grappling with claims that arise later after the incident. If you need help in such a scenario, a personal injury attorney can help. They can help determine liability and help you fight for fair compensation for your damages. Not sure how to proceed with your case? Contact one of our attorneys at Blackburn Romey today for advice on the best course of action.


Tom Blackburn

Blackburn Romey founding partner Tom Blackburn graduated with honors receiving a degree from Indiana University at the Robert H. McKinney School of Law. Initiating his legal career in 1977, he has been active in practicing law and currently serves as a member of the Indiana State Bar Association on the Ethics and Advertising Committees, the American Bar Association, the American Association for Justice, as a board member at the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association, and as an appointed member of the Executive Committee for the State of Indiana for the National Trial Lawyers Association.

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