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car accident witness

Don’t Leave the Scene of a Car Accident Even if No One Was Hurt

You could face criminal charges if you leave the scene of an accident

Something that catches many off-guard is the issue of when one can leave the scene of a car accident. Common sense would say you shouldn’t leave until all parties have gotten what they needed, be that insurance information or medical help. Yet it’s not uncommon for people to just leave – basically making the accident a hit and run – instead of sticking around. They don’t want to get into trouble, is their thinking, but leaving can land them in an even bigger mess.

No Injuries Doesn’t Mean No Problem

In Wisconsin, leaving the scene of an accident you were involved in is either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on whether or not the other driver is injured. In an accident where you damage property, or one in which there were no injuries, you could be charged with a misdemeanor that could get you a fine and potential jail time of up to six months.

It gets worse if the other party suffered injuries. If the injuries were minor, and you left (note that there is an exception for going to get help, but you have to return to the scene of the accident as soon as possible), you’d still be charged with a misdemeanor, but now you’d have to deal with a larger fine and up to nine months in jail.

If the injuries were considerable, and you left, you’d be looking at felony charges that could land you in jail for up to 10 years. Wisconsin takes hit-and-run accidents seriously.

If you’ve been involved in an accident and are accused of leaving the scene, you need legal representation now. You’ll need to show that you did stay at the scene, or that if you left, it was to seek help. Contact Eisenberg Law Offices at (608) 256-8356 to speak with an attorney.