The law in Michigan requires that you stop when you are involved in any vehicular accident. This means that you have a legal obligation to pull up to the side of the road as soon as it is safe to do so. If there are other vehicles involved, you must exchange your information with the other driver or drivers. It would be best if you also stopped to assist anyone who is injured. If you don’t meet your legal obligations, you could be charged with hit and run. But what happens if there are no other vehicles involved in the accident?
In this article, we’ll discuss what happens when leaving the scene of a single-car accident in Michigan.
What are the penalties for leaving the scene of a single-car accident in Michigan?
Leaving the scene of an automobile accident without stopping in Michigan can mean that a variety of charges might be brought against you. The severity of the accident will dictate the type and weight of the charges.
If you have left a car accident involving property damage or another parked vehicle, you may face a misdemeanor charge. This carries with it the possibility of a sentence of up to 90 days in jail. You may also face a fine of up to $100, as well as the potential suspension of your driver’s license.
If you leave the scene of the accident where another person has been injured, then this, too, will result in a misdemeanor charge. The sentence could be anything up to a year, and you will face fines of up to $1,000. Again, there is the potential to have your driver’s license suspended.
If you are responsible for a hit-and-run accident involving severe bodily harm or death, it will result in felony criminal charges. This may result in a prison term of up to five years, and you will face charges of up to $5,000. If you were at fault in the accident, the potential prison term is 15 years, and the fine is $10,000.
It is, therefore, essential that you stop at the scene of an accident in Michigan, even if there is not another vehicle involved. In any of these circumstances, you will need the assistance of a lawyer to ensure you get the best defense in a court of law.
What is the best practice for leaving the scene of a single-car accident in Michigan?
In the event that you are in a car accident in Michigan, you should always stop at the side of the road at the safest possible opportunity. When it is safe to do so, investigate what you have hit. If you have caused damage to someone’s property, or have caused injury to a person or livestock, then you shouldn’t drive away. The right and proper thing to do would be to report the accident to the local police department. Call them when it is safe to do so. The police will want to take a statement from you. And, once everything has settled down after the accident, you should obtain a copy of the police report regarding the accident. If anyone has been injured, you should assist and call them an ambulance. Even if they only have minor symptoms, they may still be experiencing shock following the accident. If the owner of the damaged property is present, you should provide them with your information. If you have been injured, you should seek medical assistance yourself. Again, you may be experiencing shock and not realize that you have been injured in any way.
Record as much information about the accident as possible. Record the names, addresses, and phone numbers of anyone who was hit or owned property that was hit in the accident. You should also obtain this information from any onlookers. Take photographs at the scene of the crash, including damage to your own vehicle.
Following on from the accident, you should contact your insurer.
Michigan is a ‘no-fault state’ what does this mean?
The phrase ‘no-fault’ means that in the event of a car accident, all parties are entitled to the benefits provided by their auto insurance policies, regardless of whether they are at-fault or not. The law surrounding no-fault legislation can be complicated, and it is always best to consult with a car accident attorney when making any claims.
If you’ve been in a car accident and need legal advice, give us a call here at Dodson, Fowler, Williams & Nesi, and we’ll be happy to help.