I Panicked And Left the Scene of an Accident – What Do I Do?

Nov 21 2023

How Can Ny Ticket Defenders Help After You Left the Scene of an Accident?

It happens in a flash: the crunch of metal, the shatter of glass, a moment of shock. Then, a surge of adrenaline and fear. If you’ve found yourself in the aftermath of an accident, especially one where you’ve panicked and left the scene, you’re likely grappling with a whirlwind of emotions and concerns about the legal repercussions. The most pressing question on your mind: What do I do now?

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I Panicked And Left the Scene of an Accident- What Do I Do?

At NY Ticket Defenders, we understand that humans make mistakes, but it’s how you handle the aftermath that truly counts. Here’s a step-by-step guide on what to do if you’ve left the scene of an accident.

1. Calm Down and Assess the Situation

First, find a safe place to stop and breathe. Panic can cloud judgment, but decisions made in haste can have long-term consequences. Remember, leaving the scene of an accident, especially when there are injuries or significant property damage, can lead to serious charges, including hit-and-run.

2. Return to the Scene, If Possible

If you can, return to the scene of the accident as soon as possible. Your willingness to return can be beneficial if the case goes to court, as it shows a sense of responsibility and remorse.

3. Report the Accident

If returning to the scene isn’t possible, immediately contact the police to report the accident. Provide them with all the details of the incident and your reasons for leaving the scene. Be truthful, but remember that you have the right to consult an attorney before giving a formal statement.

4. Seek Legal Counsel

Before you engage in detailed discussions with law enforcement or insurance companies, it’s imperative to consult with a legal professional. At NY Ticket Defenders, we specialize in traffic-related offenses and can offer you the guidance you need during this stressful time.

5. Document Everything

Write down everything you remember about the accident, including the time, location, weather conditions, and any factors that may have contributed to the incident. Take photos of your vehicle’s damage and compile any evidence that might be relevant.

6. Contact Your Insurance Company

Inform your insurance company about the incident. However, be cautious about the details you share until you’ve spoken with your lawyer, as these conversations can be used in legal proceedings.

7. Follow Legal Advice

Your lawyer will likely advise you to refrain from discussing the incident with anyone else involved or posting about it on social media. They will guide you through the process, from dealing with the DMV to facing potential charges.

8. Attend Required Court Appearances

If charges are filed against you, it’s crucial to attend all required court appearances. Demonstrating accountability and cooperation can work in your favor.

9. Learn from the Experience

Use this incident as a learning opportunity. Consider defensive driving courses and take time to understand why you reacted the way you did, so you can handle situations more effectively in the future.

Penalties for Leaving the Scene of an Accident in New York

Leaving the scene of an accident in New York is not just a traffic violation; it’s a criminal offense that can carry severe penalties. These penalties vary based on the circumstances of the accident, such as whether there was property damage or physical injury, and whether it was a first or subsequent offense. Here’s what you could be facing:

Property Damage

If the accident involves property damage, it is classified as a traffic infraction. New York Vehicle and Traffic Law requires you to exchange information with the other party. Failing to do so can result in:

  • Fines ranging from $0 to $250 for a first offense.
  • Potential jail time of up to 15 days.
  • Possible points added to your driving record.

Personal Injury

If the accident results in injury to another person and you leave the scene, the situation becomes significantly more serious, escalating to a misdemeanor or felony depending on the severity of the injuries:

  • For a non-serious injury, fines can range from $250 to $5,000, and you may face up to one year in jail.
  • If the injury is serious, the charge is elevated to a felony, with fines of $1,000 to $5,000 and potential state prison time.

Subsequent Offenses

For those who have previously been convicted of leaving the scene of an accident within the last three years, the penalties increase. A subsequent offense can result in:

  • Higher fines.
  • Longer jail sentences.
  • Increased likelihood of felony charges.

Additional Consequences

Beyond legal penalties, leaving the scene of an accident can lead to:

  • Increased auto insurance premiums.
  • Revocation or suspension of your driver’s license.
  • A criminal record that could impact employment and educational opportunities.

It’s crucial to note that the penalties for leaving the scene can be compounded by additional charges if other infractions or criminal behaviors (such as driving under the influence) were involved in the incident.

At NY Ticket Defenders, we understand the gravity of these penalties and how they can affect every aspect of your life. Our legal team can provide you with the defense strategy and support you need to navigate this complex legal challenge. Don’t let one mistake define your future; reach out to us for expert help.

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How NY Ticket Defenders Can Help

If you’ve encountered legal troubles on the road, whether it’s a ticket for a moving violation or something more serious like leaving the scene of an accident, you may feel overwhelmed and unsure of your next steps. This is where NY Ticket Defenders steps in to help you navigate the complexities of New York’s traffic laws and court systems. Here’s an overview of the support and services you can expect when you enlist our help:

Experienced Traffic Violation Defense

Our team is comprised of seasoned attorneys who specialize in the field of traffic law. We bring years of experience and a deep understanding of both the laws and the New York court system to your defense, providing you with the knowledgeable representation you need.

Personalized Legal Strategy

We know that each case is unique, and so we tailor our approach to fit your specific situation. Our lawyers take the time to understand the details of your case, your personal circumstances, and the nuances that could affect the outcome of your legal matter.

Transparent Communication

Dealing with legal issues can often feel like navigating through a fog of jargon and unfamiliar procedures. NY Ticket Defenders prioritizes clear, honest communication, ensuring that you understand your rights, the charges against you, and the possible outcomes of your case.

Advocacy and Representation

From the moment you engage our services, we act as your advocates. This means we will represent you in all legal proceedings, negotiate on your behalf, and stand up for your rights against charges that could affect your driving privileges, insurance rates, and even your freedom.

Mitigation of Penalties

Our goal is to minimize the consequences of traffic violations. Whether this means arguing for reduced fines, fighting for fewer points on your license, or in more severe cases, working to prevent license suspension or jail time, we use our expertise to mitigate the penalties you face.

Assistance with Complex Paperwork and Deadlines

Legal processes come with a lot of paperwork and strict deadlines. Our team ensures that all documents are accurately completed and filed on time, so you don’t have to worry about the administrative burden adding to your stress.

Damage Control and Future Planning

If you’re at risk of accumulating too many points on your license or facing serious penalties, we can advise on steps to take that might improve your situation, such as attending a defensive driving course or other court-approved programs.

Access to Resources

With our extensive experience comes a wealth of resources, from expert witnesses to investigative tools, that can be critical in building a strong defense for your case.

Peace of Mind

Perhaps most importantly, when you’re working with NY Ticket Defenders, you gain peace of mind knowing that you have a team of dedicated legal professionals on your side.

Ready to Take Action? NY Ticket Defenders is Here for You

So, you panicked and left the scene of an accident, what do you do now? If you’ve left the scene of an accident, it’s natural to feel worried about the future. But you don’t have to navigate the aftermath alone. NY Ticket Defenders has the expertise to guide you through the legal maze and advocate on your behalf.

Don’t wait—every moment counts. The sooner you get in touch, the more we can do to help mitigate the consequences and work towards a favorable outcome. Contact us today for a consultation, and let us put our knowledge and experience to work for you. We’re committed to defending your rights and getting you back on the road to a clear conscience and a clean driving record.