Visitor Question

Can I fight charges if the other driver left scene but called the police first?

Submitted By: Anonymous (Indianapolis, Indiana)

I was on a main road in Indiana and was attempting to merge from the left lane to the right. I signaled my blinker to merge but an SUV kept speeding up, not allowing me to merge over. So once I got a few car lengths ahead of the driver I then signal again and attempt once more. As I am crossing the dotted line, he speeds up once again and hits my car.

He only caused minor scratches. I pull over and wait for him to stop, but he drives off. I didn’t have a license plate number or make of the vehicle, just saw that it was an SUV and it was a tan color.

My phone was broken at the time and I had never been in this situation before. So with having no way of calling anyone, only very minor scratches to my car, and the fact that he left and I had no identifying information, I went on about my day.

He apparently called the cops a couple hours later and filed a report. They now are pursuing me for leaving the scene of an accident. I don’t know how to fight it or if I even am able to. I couldn’t turn it into my insurance because it would cost more to do that rather than get it fixed. I’m confused because he left the scene too!

The cops showed up the next day and saw that my phone was broken. They recorded me without my knowledge, and I told them everything. I explained why I didn’t call and I was trying to just be upfront and honest. I wasn’t trying to flea the scene because I was hiding or anything like that. I just didn’t know what to do and couldn’t call anyone. And I didn’t think to go somewhere near and borrow a phone.

Can I fight this? I am trying to get into the military and they can’t process my paperwork until this is dropped or thrown out. Is that even a possibility? How do I fight this? Do I have a chance of winning?

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.


Dear Anonymous,

Let’s review the applicable Indiana Motor Vehicle Statute.

Section IC 9-26-1-1.1 of the Indiana Code states in part:

“Indiana drivers involved in car accidents are required to immediately stop at the scene of the accident, or as close to the accident scene as is reasonably possible. Once stopped, drivers are required to remain at the scene of the accident until they do the following:

  • Give their respective names, addresses and registration numbers of the cars involved in the accident
  • Show their drivers’ licenses to any person involved in the accident, including any passengers, if requested
  • Render reasonable assistance to any persons injured in the accident, including passengers and pedestrians

Immediately after the accident, or as soon as is reasonably possible after the accident, drivers must contact one of the following:

  • The local police department, if the accident occurs within a municipality
  • The county sheriff or the nearest state police post, if the accident occurs outside a municipality.”

It appears you did comply with the law when you stopped at the scene of the accident. It also appears you were unable to notify law enforcement immediately after the accident. Fortunately, you were not issued a citation. In the event you are, your actions after the accident will serve to support your defense.

You can represent yourself, or seek the advice of a local attorney.

Learn more here: Indiana Car Accident Guide

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck!


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