In road traffic, accidents can quickly happen due to intention or negligence. The main causes are driving too fast, not keeping the legally prescribed distance and driving under the influence of alcohol. If you have had an accident (and are primarily the cause of the accident), you should not drive away, but stay at the scene of the accident at all costs and secure the site of the accident. You are also obliged to help any injured persons as far as possible and to exchange contact details in the event of damage. Unfortunately, some people who cause accidents want to escape responsibility and illegally leave the scene of an accident without thinking about the consequences. Fear of being punished, payment obligations and the possible loss of the driving license are conceivable reasons. You will be shown how to behave best in the event of an accident, regardless of whether you are the perpetrator or the victim of an escape.
When do you commit a hit-and-run?
Running away from an accident is regulated. According to this law, anyone involved in an accident can flee the scene of the accident. The precise definition of parties to an accident is given in paragraph 5. According to this principle, a person involved in an accident is any person whose behavior may have contributed to the cause of the accident. A person involved in an accident does not have to be a driver of a passenger car; an accident may also be caused by a cyclist or pedestrian. For example, if you accidentally hit a car with a shopping cart in a parking lot, you are also a party to the accident. The hit-and-run is filled with several variations of the crime: You leave if someone is present at the scene of the accident without giving them your details, or – if no one is present – if you do not wait a reasonable amount of time. It is also possible to commit a hit-and-run if the person does not provide the data immediately after the abduction. Accidental theft is not a trivial offence. Penalties of up to three years’ imprisonment are possible and the driver’s license can also be revoked (permanently). If the victim is injured or even dies, other offences can be added.
How to behave as a polluter in order not to commit a hit-and-run?
If you have had an accident, you must stop and determine the damage with the other road user and exchange data. If no one is present (for example, if there is damage while parking), appropriate waiting is necessary. Moreover, it is not enough to simply stick a piece of paper with your data behind the windshield wiper. In the event of major property damage or personal injury, you should always call the police, who will record the damage accordingly.
What can you do if you have been a victim of a hit-and-run?
If you have been a victim of a hit-and-run, it is imperative that you contact the police. Once you have seen the person who caused the accident and have left the scene, you must provide the police with all the important information you may have collected (such as the vehicle registration number, the appearance of the driver, the type of vehicle, etc.) However, even if you later discover that the vehicle sustained damage that you did not cause yourself, you must report it to the police and file a report against the unknown persons. If the police find the culprit, you can then sue them civilly. The best way to do this is to hire a lawyer who specializes in traffic accidents. If necessary, you may have to go to court to get money for damage to your property.
What insurance may help?
If you are a victim of a traffic accident, the costs are usually covered by the liability insurance of the person who caused the accident. If the person responsible cannot be determined, you can only apply to your own partial or total insurance. Once the damage has been determined, this insurance pays the amount of damage to the vehicle. In addition, as the person responsible for the accident, you may lose the coverage of your own third party liability insurance if you leave the scene of the accident without authorization. In this case, if you are subject to a police investigation, you have to pay for it yourself, which can quickly become very expensive. It therefore makes sense to stay at the scene of the accident and, if the accident victim is not at the scene, to report the damage immediately to his or her insurance company and the police.
An accident should never be taken lightly and, moreover, the person responsible should never simply leave the scene of the accident, even if it appears to be only minor scratches. Before having to expect high penalties, the accident should be cleared up and the damage covered by his or her insurance. After all, even as a victim of an accident, you don’t want to sit on the damage yourself.