Involved in a Hit and Run Accident? Contact a Car Accident Lawyer For Help
After a car accident, you should never flee the scene. The steep consequences of a hit-and-run accident require the careful attention of a car accident attorney. You want to take this as seriously as possible. Once an accident occurs, never flee the scene. Law enforcement will catch up to you and make you rue the day that you ever decided to leave the scene. For people who feel that they may have committed a mistake, they may feel the instinct to leave the scene, but we implore you never to do that. Let’s have a look at the reasons why, and if you get caught up in this, you need a car wreck lawyer.
What Classifies As Hit And Run?
Hit and run accidents happen when two people get into a car wreck and one individual leaves the scene of the accident. They don’t identify themselves, and they don’t render aid. In some states, this includes wrecking because of an animal like a dog. You could get charged with a hit and run for this.
In most states, they don’t consider it a hit and run if you leave the scene to get emergency assistance. However, you must return to the scene as soon as possible. Hit and runs can occur anywhere from the parking lot to the highway or county road. It doesn’t matter. An attorney can help you to understand your rights if you were charged with this.
The Criminal Penalties
The criminal penalties change from state to state, and the charges can range from a misdemeanor to a felony. It depends on the circumstances surrounding it. A felony hit and run usually gets charged when someone gets injured at the scene, whether a passenger, occupant or another driver. If you left the scene and someone got injured, you could face felony hit and run charges.
Whether a misdemeanor charge or a felony charge, the penalties can put you on alarm. Most of the time, the charges will lead to a fine anywhere from $5,000 up to $20,000. You could face prison time. In particular, felony hit and runs can turn into prison time. What happens will depend on the nature of the circumstances, but a felony hit and run charge could put you behind bars for up to 15 years.
You do have cases where you get charged with a misdemeanor instead. In those cases, you could still get fined $5,000 and face up to one year in the local jail.
Possible Administrative Penalties
Along with criminal penalties, the state could impose administrative penalties as well. That’s one of the reasons that you may find it advantageous to hire an auto accident attorney in Los Angeles. Having a Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on your side can help you to fight against some of the harsher penalties that they might try to impose on you. This happens through the Department of Motor Vehicles of the state.
It doesn’t matter whether you get charged with a felony or a misdemeanor hit and run, you will most likely face an automatic suspension or revocation of your driver’s license for six months. Certain states have it to where the revocation could last for up to three years. The administrative penalties depend on your state.
Depending on the nature of your circumstances, some people have received a lifetime revocation of their license from doing a hit and run. Along with that, you have to understand how administrative penalties come in conjunction with criminal liability. With an administrative penalty, your Los Angeles injury lawyer can’t defend you from this because of how the court of law doesn’t pass it against you.
The Civil Penalties Of A Hit And Run
If you were responsible for a hit and run, the person from the other party could hire a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer and sue you for the damages that they suffered. These lawsuits usually entail looking for compensation due to lost wages, medical costs, property damage and pain and suffering.
At the same time, lawsuits like this happen all the time when you get into a car accident, and you were the party at fault. Hire a car wreck lawyer to defend yourself.
In the civil courts, judgments of $10,000 in hit and run cases have become common, but they can easily go as high as $30,000, depending on the case. You should speak with an experienced car wreck attorney to understand how to best proceed. In most cases, treble damages of this nature don’t get covered under your car insurance. Treble damages refers to the compensation that the plaintiff receives. With treble damages, they get permitted to take three times for the amount of the damages.
Car Insurance With Hit And Runs
With many car insurance providers, they will cancel your coverage if the courts find you guilty of a hit and run. This only further exacerbates the problem. What happens with a hit and run will ultimately depend on the clauses and conditions found within your policy. Usually, the other party’s insurance pays, but hit and runs don’t have the other driver’s information. You need to record any details about the driver such as the color and model of the vehicle. In addition, you want to record the direction they were driving and the time and location as well. With these cases, don’t wait to contact your insurance company. You need to get a hold of them as soon as possible.
When you go to hire an auto accident lawyer in Los Angeles, they can help you to understand how to proceed. They know the laws, and they can help you to navigate them with greater fluidity. The consequences of a hit and run can be crushing, but you can use a lawyer to help you reduce some of the penalties against you. In addition, if you have a defensible position, your lawyer can argue your case to defend you in the courts.