Questions and Answers
If I am in an auto accident do I have to stop?
Yes. California law says you must stop - whether the accident involves a pedestrian, a moving
car, a parked car or someone's property. If you drive away, you can be charged with "hit and run" -
even if the accident is not your fault.
Hit and run penalties are severe. Depending on the amount of damage, you may be given a large
fine, sent to jail or both. You also could lose your driver's license.
If you hit a parked car, try to find the driver. If you cannot, the law says you may drive away
only after you leave behind your name, address and an explanation of the accident - and you must notify
the local police or California Highway Patrol (CHP) either by telephone or in person.
Call the police or the CHP, too, if the accident caused a death or injury. An officer who comes
to the scene of the accident will make a report. If an officer does not show up, you must make a written
report on a form available at the police department or CHP office.
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