Always stop if you are involved in a collision. Failing to stop after being involved in a collision that causes injury or property damage is hit-and-run driving, which is illegal. You could be imprisoned for one year, fined up to $10,000, or both. Failing to stop at the scene of a collision that causes death or serious, permanent injury could result in a four-year imprisonment and a $10,000 fine.
Any subsequent hit-and-run convictions carry a mandatory 5-year prison sentence. If you were drinking and driving and convicted of vehicular homicide while intoxicated, an additional 5-year prison sentence will be added.
If you are involved in an accident, you should:
- Call 911 to get help for anyone who was injured. If anyone is injured, do what you can to help or make them comfortable.
- Not move an injured person unless you must do so to save their life (e.g., the car is on fire, underwater, or in the path of oncoming traffic). Moving an injured person could injure them further.
- Move your vehicle out of the path of traffic to the extent possible.
- Use your hazard lights to warn other drivers of the collision.
When do I need to report an accident?
If you are involved in a collision that meets any of the conditions below, you must report it to the DMV within 10 days:
- Property damage of more than $750 for one person
- Injury of any person
- Death of any person
What should I do after an accident?
- Exchange information with the other driver(s) involved in the collision.
- Show the following to any involved drivers or officers:
- Driver's license
- Vehicle registration card
- Evidence of financial responsibility
- Current address(es)
- If anyone is injured or killed, passengers must also provide their names and addresses to other parties involved and to the police.