Have you ever heard of the term ‘hit and run’? On average, this kind of incident involves over 650,000 car accidents in the United States each year, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. Therefore, it is important to know and understand what a hit and run is, and how to receive justice afterwards.
A hit and run is a crime involving a car accident where one party or many leave the scene of the accident before giving any information of assistance. This would include not providing identification or not offering any assistance to injured-parties as a result of the accident. Know that after a motor vehicle accident, everyone involved has a responsibility to stay at the scene of the accident.
Whether the negligent party or the innocent, anyone can get in trouble for fleeing the scene of an accident. This means that if you are a part of the actual accident, stay to exchange information with the others involved. However, if you are just a witness to the accident, the law does not obligate you to stay at the scene or give a statement.
Being a witness of an accident can greatly help the injured party. Witnesses are not required to remain at the place of incident. Nonetheless, you might want to consider exchanging contact information to help those who may need an extra pair of eyes. A hit and run is especially hard to catch, so the injured party would benefit from extra help. This is because a hit and run accident could happen in many ways.
This kind of accident can happen to a parked car, a car on the road, a pedestrian, or a piece of property. Regardless of how the accident happened, the negligent driver is still obligated by the law to leave their contact information, even when no one is around. For example, if they hit a parked car, they need to leave their information on the piece of property they hit. Otherwise, bigger legal penalties could come about.
Every state is different when it comes to hit and run charges. No matter what state, there consequences are always more severe when leaving the scene after a crash, rather than staying.
Charges could include fines and sometimes jail time. Depending on the state and circumstances, careless drivers could receive both. Remember, even if the ‘not at-fault party’ flees after the accident without exchanging information and, or helping those injured, they could face the penalties as well.
All parties involved — even the passengers —, have the responsibility to encourage those involved to remain calm and never leave the scene. Needless to say, if anyone needs to seek medical attention right after the accident, this would be an exception to leaving. This is because everyone’s health is crucial and number one priority.
Car accidents are very serious and can sometimes even be fatal. If there is a death involved in the crash, there may be even higher fines and longer jail times if the party or parties involve ‘hit and run’. Fines can be as high as $10,000 but penalties of a hit and run will depend on the state where the accident occurred, and the circumstances of the incident. This information is always changing. To get justice on those who were negligent in any car accident, it is vital for you to know that the information of the other driver is still important.
An accident like a hit and run is complex, we are not going to lie. Nonetheless, you can still receive legal help after a hit and run. First, identify the driver by gathering as much information as possible.
One very helpful piece of technology is a dash camera. A dash camera or dash cam is a camera installed into your car that is constantly recording while the vehicle is in motion or certain movement around a car is detected. They typically they have two lenses and record the front of the car and the back of the car. Not every vehicle has one built in but many people install their own for extra security. After an accident, review the footage to find out if you can see the other person’s driver’s license number and their car make, model and color. This would be very crucial to prove not only that it happened but who fled the scene. However, not everyone can have a dash cam in their car. This is where any witnesses could come in.
Witnesses are people who saw the accident happen and in fact could’ve been involved with the accident too. Gather contact information from these people because the more witnesses who will defend you, the better outcome for your settlement. If there is no dash cam or witnesses involved, it’s key to recall any and all information as possible.
Always be aware while driving. It’s also a matter of safe driving. A car crash can startle anyone. In fact, don’t be hard on yourself if you couldn’t recall any information after the accident. Moreover, if you can sense that someone is not driving safely, even before an accident; try to pay attention and be aware of even the little details. All and all, call 911 if you truly feel as though someone is being completely unsafe on the road. A hit and run can make you feel helpless but always know that you can contact our team if you’re unsure.
There is no risk to contact our team specifically because we offer free case evaluations. If you are just curious to talk, do not hesitate. You may still be able to get legal help. If you have any evidence of the hit and run, we can let you know your next steps. Taking precautions now before an accident could save you time and stress.