Doing something wrong triggers a basic human instinct: immediately flee from the scene. It is the first impulse and legally, it leads to potentially serious consequences.
In terms of car accidents, hit-and-run cases are common yet unfortunate incidents. Because of the trauma, it is a natural instinct to run away from the scene. It can happen to anyone, including you.
In Case of Accidents: The Driver’s Responsibility
After an accident, drivers should follow a set of ethics to avoid further charges of hit-and-run. After the incident, drivers should immediately stop the vehicle without causing more traffic. He must also locate the driver, passengers, and pedestrians involved and gather vital information.
The driver is also responsible in assisting injured individuals by calling 911 and other law enforcement agencies.
Accidents are also the driver’s responsibility. If you flee, you might find yourself at the receiving end of a hit-and run suit.
Leaving the Scene of the Crime
A hit and run involves a car accident (either with another car, a pedestrian, or a public fixture) then fleeing the scene without reporting, providing assistance, or identifying yourself. For most states, who or what caused the accident does not matter. The crime is simply leaving the scene.
If you do leave because you seek emergency assistance (e.g. going to high places to get a cellphone signal), most states do not consider this as a hit-and-run when you immediately return to the scene. State laws often vary on how they classify the crime and setting the appropriate punishment.
What You Can Expect
According to Noll-law.com, traffic attorneys from Springfield, IL, hit-and-run situations fall on the classification spectrum of each state — from low-level misdemeanor to high-level felony. For example, if you leave a single-car accident with minor damages, you might face Level 3 misdemeanor charges in State A. Drivers who flee the scene of fatal accidents face Level 2 felony charges in the same state.
Jail time and high fines are one of the most serious consequences of leaving the scene of the crime but the problems do not stop there. Your license might also be revoked or suspended, depending on the severity of the offense.
On the road, you have responsibilities to keep as a driver. Practice these precautions religiously to prevent ending up in jail or without a license.