What is a Hit and Run?
A hit-and-run accident is an event in which the driver who caused the accident drives away without stopping to help the other party involved and without contacting the police.
Three Types of Hit and Run Accidents
1. Accident Causing Property Damage - Two cars don’t need to be involved for a hit-and-run accident to occur. If you damage someone’s property with your vehicle, you may be charged with a hit and run if you fail to report the accident.
A hit-and-run collision causing property damage is considered to be a 2nd-degree misdemeanor which can result in up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine. These penalties may be significantly increased when there are other people involved in the accident.
2. Accident Causing Injury - If someone is injured in an accident and you flee, you will likely be facing felony charges. Not only are you required to stay at the scene of the accident, but you are also required to call for medical assistance.
Leaving the scene of an accident involving injury is a 3rd-degree felony which is punishable by up to a $5,000 fine and up to 5 years in prison.
3. Accident Causing Death - If you are involved in an accident in which someone dies and you flee the scene, this is considered to be a 1st-degree felony. Offenders could face up to $10,000 in fines and 30 years in prison.
Related Article: Hit and Run Investigation Process California
How Many Hit and Run Accidents are There in the United States?
There were an estimated 737,100 hit-and-run crashes in the United States in 2015, according to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). This translates to a hit-and-run crash occurring somewhere in the U.S. every 43 seconds. The 2,049 fatalities that resulted from hit-and-run crashes in 2016 were the highest number ever recorded by the NHTSA.
What to do if Someone Hits Your Car and Drives Off
Whether you can catch the culprit or not, you should always call the police if someone hits your car and then drives away. Hit and runs are against the law, so you need to record the crime. The police might also be able to help you reach the other motorist, so they could help you get compensation for your damages.
- How to Prove Innocence in a Hit-and-Run Accident?
- Hit & Run Accident Charges
- Do Police Investigate Minor Hit & Run?
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