Published On: Thu, Apr 25th, 2024

What Happens If You Leave The Scene Of An Accident?

Leaving the scene of an accident, also known as a “hit and run”, is illegal in all 50 states. If you are involved in an accident and leave the scene without providing your identification or rendering aid, you could face serious criminal charges and penalties. Here’s an overview of what typically happens if you leave the scene of an accident.

crashed car scene of accident

Photo by Michael Jin on Unsplash

You Can Be Charged With a Crime

In most states, leaving the scene of an accident where someone was injured or property damaged is a misdemeanor or felony offense. Common charges for hit and run accidents include:

  • Leaving the scene of an accident with injuries
  • Leaving the scene of an accident with property damage 
  • Failure to report an accident
  • Failure to provide insurance information 

The exact charges and penalties depend on the laws in your state, as well as the circumstances of the accident, but in most states, you can expect a fine of between $5,000 to $20,000

Your License Could Be Suspended 

Most states will automatically suspend your driver’s license if you are convicted of leaving the scene of an accident. The length of the suspension varies but is commonly 1 year or longer. Some states will also revoke your auto insurance. You may have to pay fees to have your license reinstated after the suspension period.

You May Have to Pay Restitution

Part of your penalty for a hit-and-run conviction might include paying restitution to the other driver or property owner. This covers any financial losses they incurred as a result of damage or injuries from the accident you caused. Restitution could include vehicle repair bills, medical expenses, lost wages, etc. The economic cost of a disabling car accident can be as high as $155,000.

You Could Face Jail Time

Leaving the scene is a criminal offense, so jail time is a possible consequence. Misdemeanor hit-and-run convictions can carry jail sentences ranging from a month to a year in most states. Felony hit-and-run convictions can result in years in prison, depending on your state laws and the severity of the accident. The maximum sentence in some states is 15 years in prison, but this will depend on the circumstances.

Your Insurance Rates May Increase 

Drivers convicted of felony hit and run face the possibility of significantly higher car insurance rates. Misdemeanors can also cause increases. Insurance companies view hit and run as a serious driving violation and risk factor. Premium hikes after a hit-and-run conviction can be 20% to 30% or more.

It’s Difficult to Fight the Charges

Once charges have been filed, it can be very difficult to fight a hit-and-run accusation. Law enforcement and prosecutors take these cases very seriously. If you are identified as the at-fault driver who left the scene, you will face an uphill legal battle trying to dispute or beat the charges, but an experienced personal injury lawyer can help affix blame if another party is partly at fault for the accident. 

If you are involved in a hit and run, it’s essential to consult with a personal injury right away to protect your rights and claim compensation.

On the DISPATCH: Headlines  Local  Opinion

Subscribe to Weekly Newsletter

* indicates required

About the Author

- Veselina Dzhingarova has long experience in internet marketing and SEO. She is passionate about blogging to share her expertise. Veselina is a regular contributor at many other online publishers like chamberofcommerce.com, marketoracle.co.uk, newswire.net, bizcommunity.com, socialnomics.net and more. She is the co-founder of Financia­ltipsor.co­m, cryptoe­xt.com, Bl­ogforweb.c­om, Techsu­rprise.com­, travelti­psor.com a­nd others.­ You can get in touch with her on LinkedIn , Google+ or at [email protected]



The Global Dispatch Facebook page- click here

Movie News Facebook page - click here

Television News Facebook page - click here

Weird News Facebook page - click here