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If I have an auto accident, do I have to stop?

Yes. Georgia law says you must stop-whether the accident involves a pedestrian, a moving car, a parked car or someone’s property. If you drive away, you can be charged with hit and run even if the accident was not your fault. You must also exchange information with the other driver-your name and driver’s license number, the vehicle identification number of the car you are driving, the name and address of the car’s owner, the name and address of your insurance company and your insurance policy number (or other evidence of financial responsibility, such as a bond posted with the Department of Motor Vehicles).

Hit-and-run penalties are severe. Depending on the damage or injuries, you may be fined, sent to jail or both. You also could lose your driver’s license.

If you hit a parked car or other property, try to find the owner or driver. If you cannot, the law says you may drive away only after you leave behind, in a conspicuous place, your name, address and an explanation of the accident, and the name and address of your car’s owner (if other than yourself). You also must notify the police either by telephone or in person as soon as possible. You must immediately call the 911 and report it to the police if the accident caused a death or injury. An officer who comes to the scene of the accident will conduct an investigation.