What Classifies As A Hit And Run?

What Classifies As a Hit and Run? 

A hit and run is an act of negligence committed by a driver who does not stop at the scene of an accident that results in personal injury or property damage. The crime can be a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the circumstances of the accident. 

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Felony hit and run: A felony hit and run involve a crash that leads to serious injury or death. The penalties for a felony hit and run can range from a minimum of five years in jail to life in prison, depending on the specific facts of the case. 

Misdemeanor hit and run: A misdemeanor hit and run involving an accident that causes minor injuries or no injuries at all. Penalties for a misdemeanor hit and run are usually no more than a fine and possible license suspension. 

Punitive damages: In addition to the criminal penalties, a plaintiff who wins a civil suit can receive punitive damages. These are meant to punish the defendant for their particularly dangerous or egregious behavior in court, and they can be awarded in amounts ranging from $10,000 up to $30,000 in some cases. 

Treble damages: In some cases, a plaintiff can win triple the amount of the original settlement in a civil suit. This is because the defendant’s conduct was especially reckless or outrageous, as described in a statute related to civil penalties for hit and runs. 

Injuries or death: The damage done to a victim can be devastating, and the aftermath can be incredibly stressful. The panic that comes with a hit-and-run is often what drives drivers to flee the scene of an accident. 

Refusal to provide information: In some cases, a driver who leaves the scene of an accident will refuse to give their name and insurance information to the police or medical personnel. In some states, this is called a “false report.” The defendant may argue that they were genuinely unaware of the accident or believed there was no damage. 

Failure to render aid: The law also requires drivers who hit a pedestrian, cyclist, or car in a traffic collision to provide assistance and help coordinate medical transportation. This can be a difficult thing to do if there are other people in the vehicle, or if a driver is injured and can’t get to a hospital as quickly as they would like. 

Other responsibilities: Most states require drivers to remain at the scene of any traffic accident that leads to an injury or death, whether they are the at-fault driver or not. They are required to notify the other parties of their identity, and they may be required to contact law enforcement. 

A hit-and-run is often a tragic event, and the victims can experience tremendous stress as they try to figure out how to pay for their medical bills, repair damaged vehicles, and find employment. They can also be left with a lingering fear of the person who caused the accident. If you or a loved one has been involved in a hit-and-run, it is important to consult with an experienced Columbia hit-and-run accident attorney as soon as possible. 

What Classifies As A Hit And Run? | Montag Law