Motorists are obligated by law to exchange their information after an accident — functioning as agents of their own civil liability. Drivers who have gone through a car accident have to contact the other property owner or police, following the procedure set by the state, ensuring that the proper authorities are informed to accurately report and compensate damages. Some, however, assume that it is solely common courtesy, and in the middle of danger, might make the mistake of escaping their traffic entanglement in worry of repercussion. Almost 700,000 hit and run crashes happen each year, and it is crucial to know who is most at risk.
How is a hit and run accident defined?
A hit and run case legally covers more than a driver fleeing the scene of the accident. If they fail to provide their information – personal details, car ownership information, address, insurance information, and more – and, especially, if they do not offer assistance to any person injured by the accident to their utmost ability, they have committed a hit and run accident. Hit and run accidents usually involve two or more driving vehicles, but also account for bicyclists, pedestrians, parked cars, or other stationary properties injured or damaged. A person can commit a hit and run accident even if they have followed traffic completely lawfully up to the point of the accident but fail to provide assistance or information after the fact.
Committing a hit and run accident turns a civil liability case into a criminal charge. It is a serious issue and is penalized high above the process of contacting insurance. When one party of an accident willingly leaves the scene, neglects the damages, or obfuscates their involvement with the intention of escaping their fault or lessening damage expenses, they can be charged with a hit and run accident case.
Legal implications of a hit and run accident
No accident is good, but a hit and run accident can be detrimental and horrific. Left destitute, injured, and suffering from heavy expenses that can’t always be fully compensated by conventional means is emotionally draining. The punishment is comparatively severe for a hit and run perpetrator. Felony and misdemeanor charges can be attributed to any one case of a hit and run accident, which can warrant a high fine of as much as $1,000 for a misdemeanor and up to $10,000 or even jail time for a felony.
A hit and run accident opens up a criminal case and gives police the objective to locate the driver by following up on the information given by the victim. If the perpetrator has fled, it is in the victim’s best interests to note down and report on every detail they can remember. Initially, they should first contact the police and receive medical treatment – even if it seems unnecessary at first.
Other implications of a hit and run accident involve ending up with higher insurance premiums, lawsuits from the opposing party, and penalties from the state department of motor vehicles. If you have been the victim of a hit and run accident, taking action with the help of legal defense may be your chance at proper compensation for your injuries or damages. Contact car accident attorney Grossman for additional information.