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Exploring the Consequences of Hit and Run Accidents

Generally speaking, drivers involved in accidents must stay at the scene and render assistance or contact law enforcement. You could face serious consequences, such as criminal charges and civil lawsuits, if you don’t follow the necessary actions.

These penalties may include probation, community service, fines, and license suspension or revocation. In addition, your insurance company might cancel your car policy.

Property Damage

Anyone who drives a car and hits something—another vehicle, a person, or a parked car—must stop and check for injuries or property damage. If a driver does not, they can face criminal charges.

A hit-and-run that causes severe injury or death is usually considered a felony. If the victim can identify the responsible party, they might be able to recover compensation through their insurance.

Unfortunately, most hit-and-run drivers cannot be tracked down. That is why it’s so important to document any evidence you can—carrying a camera in the vehicle might be helpful, but witness accounts can also be valuable. If the accident took place in a parking lot, try to check if you can find a license plate or a description of the vehicle involved.

Criminal Charges

Many drivers who are involved in a hit-and-run accident will face criminal charges. Generally, these charges are classified as either a misdemeanor or a felony and can carry fines, jail time, and license suspension. In many cases, these crimes will stay on your record for a long time and interfere with your life in several ways.

In the failure to stop accidents and make amends with the other party, the driver chooses to flee the scene. However, the law requires stopping after an accident, exchanging information with the other driver, and ensuring injured people receive medical attention. However, you may need to leave the scene to access emergency assistance, such as in rural areas where cell phone service is spotty. In that case, you must provide a reasonable amount of help and return to the scene within a reasonable time.

Medical Bills

Medical bills are one of the most severe consequences of hit-and-run accidents. Depending on the accident and your injuries, you may need weeks, months, or even years of hospitalization to get back on your feet.

A hit-and-run refers to a car accident in which the responsible party flees the scene without stopping to provide aid or identify themselves, whether the accident involves another vehicle, a pedestrian, or a fixed object. This is generally a crime, sometimes even a felony, although it depends on your state.

When the at-fault driver is found, they may be ordered to pay damages for your medical expenses. In the meantime, your insurance provider should cover your medical bills through an uninsured motorist provision. This should keep you from going bankrupt while awaiting a settlement.

Lost Wages

Many car accident victims struggle to make ends meet after a crash, especially if they miss work due to injury. These injured car accident victims could be entitled to lost wages compensation.

Economic damages are financial costs directly related to the accident and can be quantified. Wages, benefits, and overtime fall under this category of damages.

In most states, hitting someone or another vehicle and fleeing the accident scene is considered a hit-and-run crime. If the at-fault driver is identified, they may be required to pay a fine and face jail time. If the victim dies, the perpetrator can be charged with felony vehicular manslaughter. A successful civil case against a hit-and-run driver could also result in a revocation of their driving license.

Wrongful Death

A hit-and-run is a criminal act where a person crashes into another vehicle or a pedestrian and then flees the scene without stopping to provide identification or aid. In addition to being a criminal act, which can result in prison time and fines, it may cause a person’s insurance company to cancel their policy.

Generally speaking, the criminal penalties for a hit-and-run vary depending on the accident’s severity and whether an injury was involved. However, most states have laws requiring drivers to stop and provide information even if the vehicle is not involved in the collision.

In many cases, people who commit a hit-and-run are found liable for wrongful death suits brought by family members of the victims. Wrongful death lawsuits are civil actions with a lower burden of proof than criminal trials.