When you are involved in a car accident, your reactions might not be great and you might do some very bad things. It is actually quite common to see people leave the site of car accidents when they feel that they did something wrong. The first impulse is often to flee. Unfortunately, when you do this in car accidents, serious ramifications can appear. Here’s why you should never leave the site of an accident.
Defining Hit And Run
Simply put, we define hit and run as the situation in which you are involved in an accident (can be with a fixed object, another vehicle, or a pedestrian) and you leave without stopping. Basically, you do not identify yourself and you do not do anything to help people that might require some assistance. There are even some US states in which hit and run definition even includes hitting an animal with the car.
What you should know is that it does not matter if you caused the car accident or you did not. Hit and run activates when you leave. In the event that you absolutely need to leave, as when you have to deal with an injury and you require medical assistance, you need a very good reason for it. For instance, if you do not have cellphone signal you could climb a hill to do so as long as you get back to the scene of the car accident as soon as possible.
Keep in mind that hit and run accidents do not need to happen on public roads or highways. In most states, even parking lot collisions can turn into hit and runs.
When you hit and run, there will be some criminal penalties. These do vary from one state to another. However, in most cases, these penalties are misdemeanors or felonies, based on the exact circumstances of the car accidents.
A felony hit and run can be defined as leaving the accident scene where a person was injured. It does not matter if the person injured was a vehicle occupant or a pedestrian. In this case, penalties are severe. Fines can be as high as $20,000 and there is a very good possibility you will go to jail. Based on injuries and accident details, you can face up to a maximum of fifteen years in prison simply because you fled the scene.
Hit and runs can be seen as misdemeanors, as already mentioned. This might seem minor but you can still end up in jail for up to one year or be faced with a fine of up to $5,000.
As you can easily see, hit and run car accidents are very serious for the person that decides to flee. At the end of the day, it does not matter if you caused the accident or not. This is the most important thing to remember.
The best thing that you can always do is to call 911 and report the accident. Then, you should wait for the authorities to arrive at the scene. Only leave the scene of the car accident when the authorities allow you to or you need emergency medical treatment.