Failing To Report An Accident
There is also an additional obligation that even if you do stop but either your details have not been requested or it is not practicable for you to exchange details i.e. there is no one else at the scene, you are required to report an accident at a police station as soon as is practical and, at the very latest, within 24 hours of the incident.
Both offences are defendable allegations. You would have a defence if you:
- Were not driving at the time of the accident;
- Weren’t driving on a public road or in a public place when the accident occurred;
- You could demonstrate that you had stopped at the time of the accident and exchanged details and if not, you had reported the incident as soon as practical;
- You had no knowledge that an accident had occurred.
SPEAK TO ONE OF OUR MOTOR LAW SPECIALISTS
PROOF BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT
The prosecution must prove, beyond reasonable doubt, that injury or damage was caused. If there was no damage or injury, no duty arises upon the driver to stop and/or report so you can’t be found guilty of failure to do so.
The most common defence used is that the driver was unaware that an accident had occurred. If damage is shown, the burden passes to the driver to show, on the balance of probabilities, that they had no knowledge that there had been an accident. Whether this is successful will depend on the severity of the impact involved and the amount of damage. The higher the impact and the more damage caused, the more unlikely this defence becomes. It is increasingly difficult to demonstrate that the driver might not have known that an accident had happened.
It should be noted that; If you were not aware that an accident had occurred but you became aware of the incident within 24 hours of it taking place, you are still required to report it in the same way as you would have done had you known at the time
If you have been charged with either of the above offence or both as can happen, then please do not hesitate to get in touch to discuss your case with us.