It’s a Crime to Leave the Scene of an Accident
Hit-and-run laws require all drivers involved in a collision to stop, identify themselves and provide any needed assistance. These laws exist to ensure anyone who is injured in a car accident receives the proper medical assistance and the appropriate financial compensation for damage to themselves or their property.
These laws affect everyone involved in an accident, including those who are not at fault. Anyone who leaves the scene of a crash can be prosecuted. A person who leaves the scene of an accident that results in a serious injury or death could face felony charges.
When does this duty apply?
Some drivers wonder if they must stop as soon as the collision occurs, or if a specific degree of damage or injury is required for that duty to be triggered. In most cases, the driver must stop and provide assistance and identification as soon as there is collision. A lack of injury or property damage is not an excuse.
A driver must be aware of the collision before this duty to stop applies. However, any evidence that would have led to any reasonable driver knowing of a collision is enough to prove the driver had a duty to pull over and provide assistance.
Certain actions of the driver could also indicate an awareness of the accident. For example, if the driver slowed down after a crash, then suddenly sped up to drive away, it would indicate the person likely knew an accident had occurred.
If you are facing charges after a car accident, work with knowledgeable Reading criminal defense attorney David R. Eshelman.