Hit-And-Run Laws, Penalties And What To Do If Involved

A hit-and-run is a car accident where a driver leaves the scene of a collision, rather than stopping to render aid and exchange contact details with the other parties involved in the motor vehicle crash.

This guide explains what a hit-and-run is, what the potential consequences of hitting and running are and what to do if you are involved in a hit-and-run.etty

What Is a Hit-And-Run?

Throughout the U.S., each individual state establishes rules for when a driver must stop at the scene of a car accident. While the rules can vary in different jurisdictions, here are some situations when motorists are generally obligated to stop at a crash scene when they were involved in a collision:

  • When the accident causes property damage
  • When someone is hurt in the crash
  • When someone is killed in the collision

In some cases, people are required to remain at a crash scene when they start a chain of events that resulted in a collision—even if they did not directly strike another vehicle. For example, if you swerved into the wrong lane and caused two other cars to crash but your own vehicle didn’t strike either car, you might still be expected to stop.

Depending on the situation, you may need to remain at the scene until law enforcement officials have come to the crash site and obtained the contact details of all parties. For more minor collisions, you may be able to leave a crash scene after exchanging contact information with other drivers as long as you follow your state’s requirements for reporting the accident to the police in a timely manner.

What Are the Penalties for a Hit-And-Run?

Penalties for a hit-and-run vary depending on your state’s laws and depending on the severity of the accident. If you flee a crash scene when only property damage occurred, you will face less serious consequences than if you leave the scene of an accident that caused someone to suffer injuries or that resulted in fatalities.

Some potential penalties you could face if you violate your state’s laws regarding remaining at an accident include the following:

  • Misdemeanor or felony charges
  • Imprisonment
  • Fines
  • Suspension of your driver’s license
  • Points on your driver’s license

Police will investigate hit-and-run accidents, especially if anyone was hurt or killed in the collision.

If law enforcement identifies you as a person who fled a crash scene, prosecutors will likely pursue criminal charges and you could face these or other penalties if you are convicted. A prosecutor will need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were involved in a collision, had an obligation under your state’s laws to remain at the crash scene and fled the scene.

What to Do If You Are Involved in a Hit-And-Run

If you are involved in a hit-and-run, you should make sure to understand your legal rights and obligations. Here’s what you need to know about being involved in this type of incident.

Involvement in a Hit-And-Run as a Victim

If you were the victim of a hit-and-run crash and the other involved driver(s) left the crash scene, you should report the accident to the police as soon as possible. If there are witnesses present, ask them to stay and talk with law enforcement and to provide their contact details. You should also report the accident to your own auto insurer.

Police should conduct an investigation to try to identify the driver who fled the crash scene. You should cooperate in the investigation so the person who left the area after the accident can be found. If the driver is found and you sustained damages to your person or property, you can pursue a civil claim against that driver’s insurer to recover monetary compensation for loss.

If the other driver is never found, you can make an uninsured motorist claim with your own insurance company to recover damages if you have this type of coverage on your policy.

personal injury lawyer can help you to determine the best approach to trying to recover full and fair compensation after a hit-and-run.

Involvement in a Hit-And-Run After Leaving a Crash Scene

If you left the scene of an accident, be aware you could face hit-and-run charges. You may wish to return to the accident scene if only a short time has passed, or you may wish to report the accident to the police yourself. Doing so could help to lessen the charges you face or help you to avoid criminal prosecution.

If you did not report a crash or return to the crash scene and police identify you as being involved in a hit-and-run, you may wish to consult with an experienced criminal defense lawyer who has represented clients in hit-and-run cases. You could be charged with a misdemeanor or felony offense depending on your state’s laws and the accident severity and your attorney can help you to respond to these charges.

A prosecutor would need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were involved in a hit-and-run crash to secure a conviction against you. You can raise defenses or try to introduce doubt in court. You could also try to negotiate a plea deal with the prosecutor or see if a pre-trial diversion program is available to help reduce the severity of potential penalties.

Source Link

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *