If you are driving and strike a pedestrian, you should stop, call 911, and render aid or medical assistance to the victim if you can. The last thing you should do is try to flee the scene of the auto-pedestrian accident.
But what if the person you hit appears to be only slightly injured? What should you do then? Is it okay to go on about your business?
To answer this question, let’s look at what happened in Las Vegas yesterday morning. A man was driving a Mitsubishi convertible on East Tropicana Avenue in the southwest part of the city around 8am. Near the intersection of Nellis Boulevard, three boys aged six to ten tried to cross the street (outside of a marked crosswalk). The man’s car struck one of the boys.
According to witnesses, the man stopped, got out of his car, and checked on the boy who he hit. But because the boy appeared to sustain only minor injuries, the man then left the scene instead of calling 911.
As a result, the police are now searching for the unidentified man. Even though the auto-pedestrian accident was not his fault, he could be charged with failure to render aid and fleeing the scene of a crash – which is a felony. Bottom line: when injuries of any type occur in an accident, those involved are required to remain at the scene until first responders arrive.
Not only is this the law; it is also a smart choice for drivers in this situation. After all, what’s to stop an accident victim from telling a driver that he or she is only slightly hurt (or not hurt at all); but then turning around and telling authorities that he or she was seriously injured (in order to get an insurance payout) and that the driver fled the scene? If there are no witnesses to back up the driver’s version of events, then it is only the driver’s word against that of the victim in the case of a potential personal injury lawsuit. Therefore, notifying the police will actually help the driver protect himself or herself from false claims of injury.