Any person who knowingly injures another person, animal, or property with their vehicle is required by law to call the police. Drivers have a legal duty to take the reasonable steps to help any injured person after an accident. Failing to report the accident to police is committing the crime of a hit and run, and hit and runs have severe legal consequences. These consequences can include suspension or cancellation of your driver’s license and voidance of your auto insurance policy. Most states prosecute hit and run crimes as misdemeanors, however if the hit and run results in serious injury or death it could be escalated to a felony charge.
Alcohol is often involved in hit and run accidents and increases the penalties of such; for more information please see Driving under the Influence (DUI) Legal Services.
According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, the national rate of hit and run crashes is 11% and 60% of hit and run fatalities have pedestrians as victims. If you have been involved in a hit and run (whether you were the driver, passenger, or pedestrian) it’s important to seek out expert hit and run legal services, as penalties can include suspension or revocation of your driver’s license, compensation paid to the victim(s), incarceration, fines, or a civil suit for personal injury.
A hit and run can result in personal injury or the crime of vehicular homicide (also known as vehicular manslaughter) which involves death or severe harm resulting from the negligent operation of a vehicle. All states except for Alaska, Montana, and Arizona have vehicular homicide statutes, while other states simply assert that a vehicle is a potential deadly weapon. To be charged with vehicular homicide or vehicular assault, the victim may be either a pedestrian, cyclist, another motorist, or another passenger in the vehicle with the offender. As these are quite serious criminal charges, it is advisable to enlist legal advice from an experienced attorney if you are potentially going to be charged with vehicular homicide.