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Auto Accidents

 

   

 

 Q.: What do Ohio's motor vehicle laws require of me if I am involved in an auto accident?
A.:Ohio law requires that if you are in any automobile accident, you must STOP immediately.

You must also GIVE your name, address, and vehicle registration number to any injured person and/or the owner(s) and/or operator(s) of the other motor vehicle(s) involved in the accident. This information must also be given to the police when they respond. If you are driving another person's automobile, you must also provide the name and address of the owner(s). You should exchange with the other driver the insurance information from your insurance card, including the insurance company name and your policy number. You also should receive the same information from the other driver.

You must REMAIN AT THE SCENE until the police arrive. If you have caused damage, you must provide the property owner with the required information (as listed above), and, if it is requested, you must show your driver's license. If the other car is unoccupied, you must attach the required information (listed above) to a prominent place on the other vehicle, such as under a wiper blade.

Q.: What if the police do not arrive at the scene of the accident?
A.: Even if the police do not respond, you still MUST notify the police department of the accident location within 24 hours. Then you must complete a "delayed" accident report at the police station.

Q.: Are there other things I should know about auto accident procedures?
A.: 1) If possible, do not move your car until the police arrive. However, your vehicle should not be left where it is likely to create a hazard or another accident.
2) Get names and addresses of the drivers of the vehicle(s) involved and passengers in the vehicle(s). Take down license plate numbers and, if possible, names and addresses of witnesses to the accident.
3) Make notes about the circumstances of the accident, including car locations, skid marks, or any observations which may help to explain the accident.
4) You should assist the responding police officer. However, unless you are absolutely certain you know the cause of the accident, it is wise not to offer an opinion. You are not required to give an opinion.
5) Help to make any injured person comfortable, but do not move him or her, or you may aggravate an injury.

Reprinted courtesy of the Ohio State Bar Association

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