Featured News 2018 What to Do in a Hit and Run

What to Do in a Hit and Run

When we're kids and we break something, our first instinct is to get out of there as quickly as possible. That reflex doesn't really go away as adults—many of us would rather flee than take responsibility for a mistake. It's only human. However, fleeing the scene of an accident is far different than when kids flee the scene of a broken vase. In some situations, it's a serious violation of the law.

What Is the Technical Definition of a Hit & Run?

In simple terms, a hit and run is when a vehicle collides into someone and leaves the scene without providing a name, license number, insurance information, and other information required by law. When someone flees the scene of an accident, it's usually a misdemeanor—however, if a driver injures another person and leaves without calling for help, it's a felony.

What Should I Have Done After My Accident?

The rule of thumb is to stay put. There is no hit-and-run accident if you don't run. Instead of running, stay and be helpful. It might seem counter-intuitive, but helping will at least reduce the chances that the other drive will sue you. It won't help a criminal case, but it wouldn't hurt either.

If you're not hurt, take a few minutes to:

  • Call the police to report the accident
  • Assist the person by calling the hospital

What Do I Do If I'm the Hit-and-Run Driver?

Hit-and-runs are common simply because running is a normal reaction. People are motivated to avoid negative consequences, and in a moment of panic, running may seem like a good option. Many hit-and-run drivers leave the scene because they do not have insurance or are driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

If you were arrested for fleeing the scene of a crime, it's vital that you hire a lawyer to defend you. It might seem like you've been caught red-handed, but a skilled defense lawyer may be able to exploit the weaknesses in the state's case. At the very least, an experienced attorney will know how to help you get off within minimal consequences. In a world where criminal records can haunt you forever, a milder penalty is a major victory.

Hit-and-run penalties can vary from state to state. Most state law penalties include:

  • Fines
  • License suspension
  • Person involved in crash may file a lawsuit
  • Imprisonment in the state prison or county jail

Also, it is imperative to understand your rights in a hit-and-run situation. After trying to aid the other driver using the steps above, it is important to be smart when talking to the police. Whatever happens, don't answer incriminating questions unless you have a lawyer present.

If you caused a hit-and-run, contact a trusted criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Remember, hiring an attorney does not make you guilty—but not hiring one will almost guarantee it.

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