A hit-and-run accident is the act of causing an accident and fleeing the scene, failing to stop and identify oneself afterward. This act is considered a crime in most jurisdictions. When you’ve been involved in an accident, it is your legal obligation to pull over and exchange insurance with the other person involved in the accident, and contact the police if needed.
Duties of Drivers Involved in a Hit-and-Run Accident
Fleeing the scene of an accident you’ve been involved in can lead to fines, loss or suspension of your license, or even jail time. If you’ve hit someone’s property, or a pedestrian, always stop and assess the damage.
All drivers have civil duties when involved in an accident. If the accident involves an injury, the uninjured person should, at least, contact medical emergency services. If the accident is severe, the police should be contacted immediately. Obviously, all of these actions require all parties in the accident be present, and not flee the scene.
If you do flee the scene of an accident, there are serious consequences. Here are a few things that could happen:
- Misdemeanor Hit-and-Run: A misdemeanor hit-and-run is when someone flees the scene of an accident where only property damage is caused, and no one is injured. A misdemeanor usually entails fines of up to $1,000 and/or possible jail time of up to a year.
- Felony Hit-and-Run: If an accident involves injuries to passengers of another car or a pedestrian, the consequences are much more severe. Penalties for a felony hit-and-run vary from state to state. Most involve incarceration and fines of up to $10,000. It’s a felony hit-and-run accident if the accident results in death.
- Warrant For Your Arrest: At the scene of a hit-and-run accident, police will question any witnesses, check surveillance tape, and do whatever else they need to do in order to locate the person who fled the scene. Once they gather enough information to figure out who that person is, they will most likely put a warrant out for their arrest, and proceed to locate the person.
- No Consequences: There are rare cases in which you can leave the scene of an accident without suffering the consequences. If you were not directly involved in the accident, you are not held liable for staying the the scene of the accident.
What To Do After A Hit-And-Run Accident
If you are the victim of a hit-and-run accident, try to catch the license plate of the driver who fled the scene, as well as the make and model of their car. Contact the police immediately, let them know your location and the direction in which the driver was traveling when they fled the scene.
Unfortunately, victims of hit-and-run accidents are often forced to collect from their own insurance policies. If you’ve been involved in a hit-and-run accident, The Kyle Law Firm is here to help you. We are serious about your case from the moment we hear about it and will work with experts to present the full extent of your injuries and get you the compensation you deserve. Contact us today.