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Published On: Thu, Feb 22nd, 2018

What Happens When Your Leave the Scene of an Accident

A hit-and-run happens when you cause a traffic accident but have not stopped to check the damages you’ve incurred. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), almost 19% of pedestrians killed in 2015 were struck by car crashes and involved with hit-and-run drivers.

You must understand that when you flee a car accident scene, you violate the law. When you’re in any kind of vehicular accident, the state traffic laws require you to follow certain procedures. It does not matter whether you caused the accident or not. You must wait for the police to arrive. If you commit hit-and-run, you might get the following penalties.

photo Scott Davidson

Criminal Penalties

Criminal penalties for hit-and-run cases differ from state to state. Some states consider hit-and-run as a misdemeanor while others treat it as a felony.

Hit-and-run is a misdemeanor when nobody has been injured during the accident. It may sound minor, but state penalties for it range from a 5,000usd fine to one-year imprisonment.

Usually, it’s felony when you leave the scene of the accident where there is an injured person. The penalties for this felony can be high. Many state impose fines that range from 5,000 usd to 20,000usd. Incarceration is another form of punishment for this crime. Depending on the nature of the accident, you can go to prison for up to 15 years.

Civil Penalties

If you caused an accident, it’s highly probable that the persons involved in the car crash will sue you in court. So it’s best that you call Naqvi Law in Las Vegas, Nevada before things get out of hand.

Car accident victims usually seek for monetary compensation for lost wages, medical bills, and property damages. If you are liable for hit-and-run on top of causing the accident, then the court may give you graver penalties. Often, the damages awarded to the victim is tripled to punish you for your bad behavior. And since you are liable for your own reckless behavior, you car insurance policy will not cover any of the expenses. You’ll end up paying the fine on your own.

Administrative Penalties

Aside from paying a fine and going to prison, you might also lose your driver’s license. It does not matter if your hit-and-run case is a misdemeanor or a felony. Suspension or revocation of your driver’s license can last from six months to three years. The time depends on which state you live in and the nature of the car accident. Though rare, you can also get a lifetime revocation of your license.

Final Thoughts

Sometimes, the shock from an accident can lead you to instinctively leave the scene. However, once you gather your wits, go back the car accident scene.

There are grave consequences to a hit-and-run accident. If you fail to fulfill your duty as a responsible driver, a traffic ticket is the least of your worries. You can face jail time, fines, and suspension of your driver’s license.

Author: Pankaj Deb

About the Author

- Outside contributors to the Dispatch are always welcome to offer their unique voices, contradictory opinions or presentation of information not included on the site.

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