Leaving Scene of an Accident Without Reporting – Personal Injury: NY Vehicle and Traffic Law § 600(2)

by ECL Writer
Leaving Scene of an Accident Without Reporting - Personal Injury

Leaving the scene of an accident without reporting it is a severe offense that can result in legal consequences. In New York, the Vehicle and Traffic Law § 600(2) outlines the specific requirements for drivers involved in a personal injury incident. Failure to comply with these requirements can lead to criminal charges, fines, and even imprisonment.

This Eastcoastlaws.com article will explore the details of the law, the potential consequences for violating it, and what to do if you find yourself in this situation. Whether you are a driver or a pedestrian, understanding your rights and obligations under the law can help protect you and others in the event of an accident.

Personal Injury

In New York, you are required to notify someone whenever a car accident results in property damage, human injuries, or injuries to animals. To just drive away is against the law. If you don’t stop, you can face criminal or traffic charges. According to New York Vehicle and Traffic Law 600(2), it is illegal to leave the scene of an accident before providing the following information to the other party involved in the accident or to a police officer if you are in a car accident and you know or should have known that someone was injured.

  1. Your name
  2. Your address
  3. Proof of insurance, including the carrier’s name and effective dates of the police
  4. Your license number

New York Vehicle and Traffic Law § 600(2): Leaving Scene of an Accident Without Reporting- Personal Injury

  1. Any person operating a motor vehicle who, knowing or having cause to know that personal injury has been caused to another person, due to an incident involving the motor vehicle operated by such person shall, before leaving the place where the said the personal injury occurred, stop, exhibit his or her license and insurance identification card for such vehicle, when the such card is required pursuant to articles six and eight of this chapter, and give his or her name, residence, including street and street number, insurance carrier and insurance identification information including but not limited to the number and effective dates of said individual’s insurance policy and license number, to the injured party, if practical, and also to a police officer, or in the event that no police officer is in the vicinity of the place of said injury, then, he or she shall report said incident as soon as physically able to the nearest police station or judicial officer.
  2. It shall be the duty of any member of a law enforcement agency who is at the scene of the accident to request the said operator or operators of the motor vehicles, when physically capable of doing so, to exchange the information required hereinabove and such member of a law enforcement agency shall assist such operator or operators in making such exchange of information in a reasonable and harmonious manner.
  3. A violation of the provisions of paragraph a of this subdivision resulting solely from the failure of an operator to exhibit his or her license and insurance identification card for the vehicle or exchange the information required in such paragraph shall constitute a class B misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than two hundred fifty nor more than five hundred dollars in addition to any other penalties provided by law. Any subsequent such violation shall constitute a class A misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than five hundred nor more than one thousand dollars in addition to any other penalties provided by law. Any violation of the provisions of paragraph a of this subdivision, other than for the mere failure of an operator to exhibit his or her license and insurance identification card for such vehicle or exchange the information required in such paragraph, shall constitute a class A misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of not less than five hundred dollars nor more than one thousand dollars in addition to any other penalties provided by law. Any such violation committed by a person after such person has previously been convicted of such a violation shall constitute a class E felony, punishable by a fine of not less than one thousand nor more than two thousand five hundred dollars in addition to any other penalties provided by law. Any violation of the provisions of paragraph a of this subdivision, other than for the mere failure of an operator to exhibit his or her license and insurance identification card for such vehicle or exchange the information required in such paragraph, where the personal injury involved (i) results in serious physical injury, as defined in § 10.00 of the penal law, shall constitute a class E felony, punishable by a fine of not less than one thousand nor more than five thousand dollars in addition to any other penalties provided by law, or (ii) results in death shall constitute a class D felony punishable by a fine of not less than two thousand nor more than five thousand dollars in addition to any other penalties provided by law.

Sentence

A misdemeanor is committed when someone flees the site of an accident without reporting where they were hurt. If the only reason for your offense was that you failed to display your license and insurance information, the infraction would be classified as a class B misdemeanor, punishable by a $250–$500 fine and up to 90 days in jail. Otherwise, it would be a class A misdemeanor, punishable by a $500–$1000 fine and up to a year in jail.

When you commit a crime for the second time, it is classified as a class E felony. Up to 4 years in prison and a fine of $1000–2500 would be your punishment. In addition, the charge would be a class D felony punishable by up to 7 years in prison and a fine of $2,000–$5,000 if the victim of the accident died as a result of the accident.

Defenses To Leaving Scene of an Accident Without Reporting- Personal Injury

The prosecutor must prove that you knew or should have known that someone was hurt in order to prove that you left the site of an incident without reporting. Such a prosecution would not be justified if the situation was such that you were unaware that you struck another vehicle or injured someone. Additionally, suppose the injury was not a “physical injury” as defined by the penal code and was rather slight. In that case, you may have a defense against the accusation of leaving the scene of an accident without reporting.

Hiring New York Lawyer For Leaving Scene of an Accident Without Reporting- Personal Injury Case

If you have been involved in a personal injury incident and left the scene without reporting it, you could be facing severe legal consequences. In New York, the Vehicle and Traffic Law § 600(2) requires drivers involved in such incidents to report them immediately to law enforcement and provide necessary information to any injured parties. Failure to comply with these requirements can result in criminal charges, fines, and imprisonment.

Hiring a New York lawyer with experience in personal injury cases and traffic laws can be crucial in navigating the legal system and defending your rights. A skilled attorney can help you understand the charges you are facing, guide you through the legal process, and work to minimize the impact of the charges on your life. They can also negotiate with the prosecution on your behalf and represent you in court if necessary.

It is important to act quickly and seek legal counsel as soon as possible after the incident. A knowledgeable lawyer can provide you with the best possible defense and help you achieve a favorable outcome in your case.

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