Ohio state law requires that every person involved in an accident on a public road or parking lot report the incident to the police. The hit-and-run statute also imposes legal obligations to remain at the scene, speak to investigators, alert emergency medical personnel when injuries occur, and, where possible, provide first aid to people who were injured in the accident.
The rules apply equally to the person causing the accident and to the victims. One of the implications of this is that hit-and-run crashes victims can be charged with driving after an accident. Another is that not calling in the event of an accident can greatly complicate the insurance claims process, in large part because no official police report will be generated.
However, understand that leaving a note on a parked car can protect the at-fault driver. Likewise, a person returning to a damaged car will face no problem for not reporting the incident immediately after it happened. When a hit-and-run involves an unoccupied vehicle, some leeway is allowed.
How a Victim Can Face Guilt for a Hit and Run
Imagine a stack of four vehicles at an intersection. A trucker set off the chain reaction by failing to stop in time as he approached a red light. It collides with the back of a car, pushing it into the path of traffic crossing from a side street with a green light. If both the truck driver and the person in the car take off without checking the people in the other cars, without giving statements and insurance information to law enforcement officers, and without calling 911, both can be charged with the an offense that Ohio courts call walking away. the scene of an accident.
Issues with the victim’s guilt for skipping a hit
Although the person driving the vehicle was the victim of the truck driver’s negligence or recklessness, the person has to comply with the hit-and-run law to avoid possible criminal consequences. The victim could have panicked or just assumed they didn’t need to stay because the truck driver was clearly at fault. The police and court would not be willing to accept any of the excuses at face value, so hiring a hit-and-run defense attorney would be a good idea for the driver.
Beyond legal concern, remaining at the scene would prevent the driver from being suspected of causing any part of the accident and inflicting injury. Simply being accused of instigating a hit-and-run can make filing and collecting insurance claims impossible. Insurers will work hard to deny the claims of a driver they believe is at fault.
Talking to a tort defense attorney can help in a situation like this. The attorney may organize and present evidence to support the victim’s right to file claims. The attorney could also use evidence to explain why leaving the scene of the accident would be understandable and forgivable.