Failing to Stop and/or Report after an Accident
If you are involved in an accident which results in injury to someone else or damage to another person's vehicle or property, the law requires you to do certain things. These are:
- Stop, and if required to do so by any person having reasonable grounds for requesting them, give your details.
- If for any reason you do not give your details, you must report the incident at a police station or to a constable as soon as reasonably practicable, and certainly within 24 hours.
The Magistrates' Court Sentencing Guidelines suggest 5-10 penalty points or a ban. It should be noted that the Magistrates are obliged to impose a minimum of 5 points if a guilty plea is entered. The penalty will depend on a number of factors including: the seriousness of the incident, ie. level of damage and/or injury caused, and why the driver left the scene.
If you can prove on the balance of probabilities that you genuinely didn't know that you were involved in an accident, then you will have a defence. This will be difficult to prove where the damage or injury is more severe, or for example, if there are witnesses who state that there was a loud noise at the time of the incident.
If you've received a Summons for failing to stop or report following an accident, then your licence may be at risk. Therefore you should seek some advice. It depends on the seriousness of the injuries/damage caused what the penalties would be if you plead guilty. If you do not have a defence, it is important that careful mitigation is placed before the court to keep any penalty to a minimum and to safeguard your licence.
It doesn't matter whether your hearing is in Nottingham, Derby, Grantham, Leicester or elsewhere, a Pragma solicitor will be able to assist you.
A driver must stop if:
- an accident has occurred owing to the presence of a mechanically propelled vehicle (a fancy way of saying car, lorry etc!) on a road or other public place,
- in which either personal injury is caused to someone other than the driver of the vehicle, or
- damage is caused to a vehicle (excepting the drivers’s own vehicle or a trailer drawn by his vehicle),
- or to certain animals (excepting an animal in the driver’s vehicle or trailer),
- or to any property attached to land on which the road is situated or adjacent to the road.
The details only need to be given if so required by a person having reasonable grounds to do so. Then you must give your own name and address, those of the owner of the vehicle (if not you) and the identification marks of the vehicle (the registration number). The address must be one through which you can be contacted but may not necessarily be your home address.
In that case, you must report the accident at a police station or to a constable as soon as reasonably practicable and, in any case, within 24 hours.
If you don't do this, then you're guilty of failing to report the accident.
The above reporting requirement also applies where for some reason you are unable to give your details to the other person, for example, if they are aggressive and you are genuinely scared. You still must report the accident to the police.
Where there's a failure to stop/report allegation(s), there's usually also a careless driving or possibly even a dangerous driving allegation as well. That's because the accident itself is often evidence that the standard of driving dropped below that of a careful and competent driver.
It may be that the prosecution will not proceed with all allegations depending on any representations we can make on your behalf. Obviously the fewer offences there are, the lower the potential penalty will be.