Return to Traffic Collisions
If you drive a vehicle on a public road, private road, parking lot or any other public or private property, and you are involved in an accident resulting in property damage, injury or death, you must do the following or else be subject to criminal prosecution:
PROPERTY DAMAGE ONLY:
If only property damage occurs, you must:
a. Stop your car or vehicle at the nearest safe location; and
b. Locate and notify the driver, owner, or person in charge of the damaged vehicle or other damaged property (for example, sign post or telephone pole, etc.); and
c. Provide your current address. If you don’t own the vehicle, you must also provide the current address of the owner of the vehicle you were driving; and
no one is present, you must leave note
in conspicuous place on vehicle or property and promptly
notify police or
d. Present your driver’s license and vehicle registration but only if requested to do so. If you don’t own the vehicle, but the owner was a passenger in your vehicle or otherwise present at the scene, then the owner’s driver’s license but only if requested to do so
Violation of the above (a-d) can result in up to 6 months imprisonment and/or $1000 fine.
See Vehicle Code Section 20002
INJURY OR DEATH:
If injury or death occurs, you must:
a. Stop at the accident scene.
b. Present identification to the pedestrian person struck by vehicle or to the driver or a passenger of the other vehicle collided with as well as to any traffic officer at the scene:
- Your name and resident addresses; and
- The vehicle registration number; and
- Only if requested, your driver’s license.
If you have no driver’s license, you must show other evidences of identification to occupants of struck automobile.
c. Provide reasonable assistance (including transporting or arranging transport of the injured person to a medical provider if treatment appears necessary or if injured person requests same); and
d. If injuries or death occur, within 24 hour of accident, make a written report to CHP or police authority.
But, if death occurs, and no law enforcement officer is at scene, you shall, without delay, report incident to nearest CHP or authorized police authority; and
Violation of the above (a-d) may result in, as follows:
If there was injury to a person other you, 1 year or less imprisonment and/or $1000 to $10,000 fine; or
If there was death or permanent or serious injury to a person other than you, 2-4 years (or at least 90 days) imprisonment and/or $1000 to $10,000 fine.
See Vehicle Code Sections 20001, 20003, 20004, 20006, 20008 and 20010
PASSENGER MUST ACT IN PLACE OF INCAPACITATED DRIVER:
If the driver is physically incapable of reporting accident, then an occupant (passenger) in the vehicle must report the accident. See Vehicle Code Section 20010.
THE ABOVE LAWS APPLY TO BOTH PUBLIC AND PRIVATE PROPERTY:
"When the Legislature intends to make its motor vehicle laws apply on private property it does so in clear language. Thus section 20000 of the Vehicle Code uses the term "highways and elsewhere throughout the State, unless expressly provided otherwise." … (People v. Stansberry, 242 Cal.App.2d 199, 202…)”
DUTY TO REPORT TO THE
DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES:
In most cases, you must additionally report your motor vehicle accident to the California Department of Motor Vehicles within ten (10) days after the date of the accident.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a traffic accident, contact Christian lawyer, Matthew B. Tozer for a free consultation.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is informational, only. The subject matter and applicable law is evolving and/or constant state of change. This article is based on California law. The article merely summarizes legal statutes and makes no guarantee of the accuracy of such summary. Read the applicable statute(and/or appellate cases construing same) to determine the exact language and meaning of the statutes. No legal advice is given and no attorney/client or other relationship is established or intended. The information provided is from general sources, and I cannot represent, guarantee or warrant that the information contained in this website is accurate, current, or is appropriate for the usage of any reader. It is recommend that readers of this information consult with their own counsel prior to relying on any information on this website.