Minor incident in parking lot...
Leaving a store, a friend of mine was backing out the same time as another car when they had a collision. They were driving a big truck/SUV. My friend got out and checked on the passenger. Both surveyed the cars. Everyone was okay and there was no damage. My friend gave the other driver his number.
Since there was no damage and no injuries we left. The other driver then called my friend back an hour later with the police, asking why we drove away. This was a complete shock because she made it seem as though we hit and ran.
My friend was boarding a plane and did not have the insurance information, and the number the user gave us initially did not work.
What are the next steps? Will I get in trouble? I have insurance and was in no way attempting to allude the scene. Is it possible she left and changed her mind about calling the police, just to try to get money from my insurance company? Will I be liable for any compensation? Thanks for any information you can give.
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ANSWER for "Minor incident in parking lot...":
Jared (Atlanta, GA):
You must immediately contact the police, or retain an attorney to do so. This is especially important as a police officer was dispatched to the scene of the collision, and once there made contact with you asking why you left the scene of the accident.
Under Georgia State Law, Section 40-6-270, it is a crime to leave the scene of the accident without first offering the other driver contact information, insurance information, and other requirements. Your failure to remain at the scene of the collision until you fulfilled the requirements of Section 40-6-270 may result in your arrest.
Section 40-6-270 reads in part as follows:
"(a) The driver of any vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury to, or the death of any person or in damage to a vehicle which is driven or attended by any person shall immediately stop such vehicle at the scene of the accident or shall stop as close thereto as possible and forthwith return to the scene of the accident and shall:
(1) Give his or her name and address and the registration number of the vehicle he or she is driving;..."
Next, report the collision to your insurance company. You almost certainly have a contractual obligation to do so. From the facts you present, it is likely the other driver will be seeking compensation from you for her property damage, and possibly even for personal injuries. At this point you need to be proactive.
The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.
Best of luck,
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