Hit and Run Accidents – Laws and Victim Rights

There are many forms of road accidents and road crimes, all causing pain, physically and emotionally to the victims involved. One of such accidents is the Hit and Run.

Like every other crime and road accident, a hit and run accident is punishable by law. According to laws of traffic, an accident is considered to be a Hit and Run if the offender fails to stop after causing the accident. This is considered to be a supplemental crime under most jurisdictions.

In this article, we listed a few sanctions covering this crime as well as what to expect should you take action against it:

Specifics of hit and run

Hit and runs are usually accidents involving moving cars but are not secluded to that alone. It can also be a moving car crashing:

A cyclist

A pedestrian

A non-moving car

Other still objects or property.

If the accident has to do with a moving car crashing against a non-moving car or other forms of property, such an act is considered a misdemeanor by law. Simply put, it’s considered a misdemeanor if there are no human casualties involved in the accident.

The misdemeanor tag often suggests there are little to no consequences for the offender but that’s wrong. Most states dish out fines as much as $5, 000 and significant jail time of a year.

On the other hand, if the accident has to the with the moving car crashing a pedestrian or cyclist or crashing another vehicle with occupants within it and the driver doesn’t step down to view the level of casualty, offer assistance to the injured or affected victims or simply identify himself, such an act is considered to be a felony.

 

As a felony, the offender faces severe charges and penalties including; fines within the range of $5, 000 to $20, 000 depending on the state.

The offender also risks facing jail time for as long as 15 years depending also on the state in question and the severity of the harm done to the victims.

Administrative penalties

Hit and run offenders aren’t only subject to criminal laws and penalties. Regardless of whether it’s a misdemeanor or a felony, a hit and run offender also risks facing administrative penalties imposed by most states. These penalties include suspension automatically or total revocation of driver’s license for six months or in some cases, more.

 

Civil charges

The victims of hit and run accidents hold the right to sue the offender to court for any damages they might have suffered as a result.

The victim may choose to ask for compensation in the form of money due to damaged property, wages lost and sorting medical bills if need be.

In most states, treble damages are imposed on the offender. Treble damages mean that the plaintiff gets triple of whatever damages are awarded.

Added to the above fines and sanctions, many insurance companies opt to cancel automobile insurances for offenders.

So it is advisable and smart that you drive more careful out there. If you’re a victim, seek justice.

About the Author

With over 100 years of combined experience among the legal team of Herrman & Herrman, P.L.L.C., our Texas personal attorneys have successfully resolved over 20,000 cases. When representing injured Texas residents, we fight for justice against wrongdoing and aggressively pursue the best resolution to complex personal injury claims. Start down the road to recovery by contacting us for a free initial consultation and case evaluation.

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