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What Are Your Responsibilities After a Car Accident?

The moments following a car accident are understandably stressful and confusing. Drivers in this situation are left with many concerns about what just happened and what to do next. There are worries about the damage to your vehicle and the costs associated with the accident. In addition, the law lays out several requirements that drivers involved in an accident must meet.

Under Indiana law, there are different requirements of drivers depending on the type of accident that they are involved in. See I.C. 9-26-1. The failure of a driver to comply with these requirements can result in criminal charges, jail time, and/or fines. Depending on the type of accident, criminal offenses can range from misdemeanors to serious felonies.

Here are some of those responsibilities:

Accident Resulting in Injury, Entrapment, or Death

You must stop your vehicle as close as possible (or return to the accident scene), give your name, address, and VIN to the person struck or any person/passenger in the vehicle. You are required to show them your driver's license if they ask for it. And you must provide reasonable assistance to anyone injured/entrapped. This includes making arrangements for medical treatment. Also, you must call 911 and report the accident to local law enforcement as soon as possible.

Accident Resulting in Damage to an Occupied Vehicle But No Injury

You must stop your vehicle as close as possible (or return to the accident scene), give your name and address to the other drivers. You must show proof of financial responsibility (insurance) and you must show your driver's license to the other driver.

Accident Resulting in Damage to an Unoccupied Vehicle

You must attempt to locate the owner of the vehicle, and give him/her your name and address. If you cannot find the owner, you must leave an easily visible note with your name, address, and circumstances of the accident on it.

Accident Resulting in Damage to Property Other Than a Vehicle

You must stop your vehicle as close as possible (or return to the accident scene) and attempt to find the owner of the property to notify them of the accident. If you find the owner, you must give him/her your name, address, and VIN. And, if asked, you must show your driver's license. If you cannot find the owner, you must call your local Sheriff's Department or the State Police, and provide them with the same information.

In the moments after a crash, these details can be difficult to remember. If you have been involved in an accident, or are facing criminal charges related to your use of a vehicle, contact the attorneys at Keffer Barnhart LLP today at 1-800-NOT GUILTY or (317) 857-0160.