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What to do when involved in a hit-and-run accident

There are a host of different laws in place for drivers that are involved in motor vehicle accidents. In order to keep within the law, you must follow a certain procedure. In general, a person involved in an accident must stay at the scene after the incident occurs. This is in order to make sure that everyone at the scene gets the appropriate medical attention, and so that they can give statements to the police when they arrive.

However, if someone hits a car and thinks that he or she is in the wrong, it is possible that the driver will panic and decide to flee the scene. This is an illegal act, and is most commonly known as a "hit and run."

What to do if you are involved in an accident that involves a hit-and-run driver

State traffic laws generally state that any driver involved in some way with the accident should stop his or her vehicle safely and follow the following procedure:

  • Check on the medical state of everyone involved in the incident and get medical help if needed.
  • Call the police to ensure that all evidence and information is properly preserved.
  • Share information with the police and other drivers, such as drivers license, insurance records and telephone number.
  • Talk to witnesses that may be able to give statements to the police.
  • Contact your insurance company.

Penalties for hit-and-run incidents

If the standard duties are not fulfilled as a driver involved in a crash, the driver will receive a minimum of a traffic ticket, but a maximum of a charge of felony if a driver abandons the scene of a crash that leads to serious injury or death.

As a person involved in an incident where another driver fled the scene, you may be entitled to a personal injury claim.

Source: FindLaw, "Leaving the scene of an accident/hit and run," accessed Aug. 17, 2017

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