New York Hit and Run & Leaving Accident Scene Laws
Statistically speaking chances are most drivers will be involved in some kind of car accident during their life. What happens right after one is what counts, as fleeing a scene of a road accident you were directly involved in carries various penalties.
Depending on severity of the damage this can be a simple traffic infraction, a misdemeanor, or even a felony.
Leaving incident scene of property damage
Before leaving an accident scene, drivers involved in incidents of property damage are required to present their license and insurance identification card for vehicle involved, as well as their name and residence.
In case the person sustaining the damage is not present, you are required to report the same information as soon as physically able to the nearest police station or judicial officer.
Penalty for not reporting the information above is considered a traffic infraction, and is punishable by a fine of up to $150 or 15 days in prison, or both.
Leaving personal injury incident scene
Fleeing from an accident which involves a personal injury is also illegal. You are required to:
- show your license
- provide your name, residence including street and street number
- provide information about insurance carrier and insurance identification information to the injured party.
If police officers are present on the scene you must provide them with the same information, or if not you must report the information to the nearest police station or judicial officer.
Failure to provide your information to the injured party constitutes a class B misdemeanor which is punishable by a fine of $250 – $500, in addition to other penalties required by law.
Further violations beyond not presenting personal information constitute a class A misdemeanor for which a fine between $500 – $1000 is required. In case a person has similar previous hit and run convictions on record or in case of serious personal injury this violation can increase to class E felony, punishable by $1000 – $2500 fine in addition to other penalties required by law.
In case of death it constitutes as class D felony punishable by $2000 – $5000 fine, in addition to any other penalties provided by law.
Leaving scene where animals were injured
Injuring any dog, cat or cattle animal requires drivers to report the incident to owner or custodian of the animal, or police, peace or judicial officer in the vicinity. Name, address, insurance carrier and insurance ID information as well as vehicle license number must be reported.
Failing to comply is punishable by no more than $100, or $50 – $150 for each subsequent offense.
If you are involved in a car accident it’s never a good idea to simply flee the scene. Damage you may be liable for is usually lower than certain fines and penalties involved with fleeing the scene. In this day and age of mass surveillance and phone cameras it’s hard to get away and not get caught.
Fleeing incident scenes can carry harsh penalties and financial fines, and police officers may arrest you without a warrant. In serious cases involving injury or death, fleeing a car accident can be considered a felony.
- NY Laws – VAT – Vehicle & Traffic, Title 6 Article 22 – Accidents and Accident Reports, Section 600 – Leaving scene of an incident without reporting.