Hit and Run: Should You Leave the Scene of an Accident?
Any accident is a bad accident. However, a hit and run accident can be especially troubling. Although it happens, leaving the scene of an accident has some serious consequences. In addition to the legal consequences, there are many reasons that you should stay put after an accident. Find out why it’s so important to stay after a hit and run.
The Legal Ramifications of a Hit and Run
While there are several reasons to stay after an accident, the legal consequence is one of the most well-known reasons. After there is a car accident, traffic laws demand that you follow procedure. Part of that procedure is to stay at the scene of the accident. Then, you need to get medical help if anyone needs medical attention. Finally, you need to wait for the police to show up.
Every state has different laws surround hit and run accidents. As a general rule, you should never leave the scene of the accident until the police come. Leaving before then could be breaking procedure. If you fail to stay, you could face serious legal consequences. If anyone in the accident suffered from an injury, the consequences could be even greater.
Property Damage Hit and Runs
Whether or not your accident involved another person, you should stay if there was any type of property damage. In most states, accidents involving property damage require you to take action. You need to make an effort to find the owner of the property. Whether it is a parked vehicle or a mailbox, you need to look for the owner and notify them of the damage. You can leave a note at the scene of the accident and include your contact details. Then, you can leave the scene without fear of legal consequences.
Of course, a hit and run that involves a pedestrian or another driver require different action. If you leave the scene of an accident, you could face criminal charges. A felony hit and run is a serious criminal charge that occurs when you leave an injured individual at the scene of the accident. By failing to stay at the scene and help, you could make their injuries worse. Courts take this charge very seriously.
Why should you stay?
If the law is not enough of a reason for you to stay at the scene of an accident, there are a few other reasons you should stay.
1. You put someone’s life at risk
When you leave the scene of an accident, you put someone else’s life at risk. Even a minor accident can result in serious injury. Without checking up on the other driver or any involved pedestrians, you can’t be sure about the severity of their injuries. Your failure to help them or call emergency services could put their life at risk.
When it comes to car accident injuries, help needs to arrive quickly. An individual could have internal bleeding or a serious head injury. If they need to wait for medical help, they could face fatal consequences. To save a life, you need to remain on the scene and offer help. You can talk to emergency services while you wait for the ambulance. If there is anything that you can do to help, they will tell you.
2. The cost of leaving is higher than the cost of staying
Whether you are part of a serious accident or a minor one, the cost of leaving is higher than the cost of staying. If you were at fault for the accident, staying could get you in trouble with the law. Whether you drove intoxicated or broke the speed limit law, you could face fines and other penalties. However, leaving only makes things worse. The police could charge you with more than just your initial crime. Your fines could be higher, and you could face jail time.
If you leave the scene of an accident, the police will try to track you down. And there is a good chance that they will be successful. Leaving the scene is risky and will only make things worse for you.
3. You may not be at-fault
Some people leave the scene of an accident because they feel that the blame will go on their shoulders. However, this may not be the case. The other driver could have been intoxicated or negligent. If you stay at the scene, you may be the innocent one. You may even be able to file a personal injury claim.
On the other hand, leaving the scene of the accident no longer makes you the victim. You may never know if the other driver was to blame. If he was, you miss out on the chance for compensation. It’s better to stay put and wait for the police to arrive. Let them determine the cause of the accident. With the help of a lawyer, you might have a personal injury claim.