Hit and run accidents are not a rare sight these days. No matter what the reason may be behind a driver’s flight, it’s a criminal offense. Not only that, but it is also unethical and unkind. So, although we hope you never have to go through such an ordeal in your life, if you do, do not run away. Stay on the scene of the accident until the authorities arrive.
A hit-and-run accident is an accident on the road where the driver runs away after hitting someone. Normally, if a person accidentally hits someone on the road, they would offer help to anyone who got injured. , if they have to be somewhere else urgently, then they would leave their contact details. That is the right thing to do.
As long as the driver does any of the two things mentioned above, the accident is considered an accident. However, the moment the perpetrator runs away after causing an accident, it becomes a hit-and-run accident; it is no more an accident, it is then a crime.
There are numerous reasons why hit and run accidents happen. Why would someone flee from the scene of the accident after causing it? The major reason behind such behaviour is usually the fear of being fined heavily, arrested, and sued. This fear arises from a guilty conscience. The driver knows he’s in the wrong and so, he decides to flew to avoid accountability.
- 1. Drunk driving: Drunk driving is illegal in most countries. Therefore, when someone drives while under the influence of alcohol, they run the risk of being arrested and fined. The penalty for drunk driving is already high enough. If the driver ends up hitting someone while drunk driving, the consequences would be severe. Hence, when a driver gets into an accident while intoxicated, they instinctively flee from the scene.
- 2. Driving without a license: Before you can begin to drive a vehicle, there are certain legal requirements you need to meet. First, you need to be of legal driving age. Secondly, you need to have a valid driving license. An unlicensed driver could be someone who doesn’t know how to drive. Or it could be someone who does not meet the legal driving age requirement. In either of these cases, if they end up in an accident, they would be fined heavily and could even get sued. Hence, running away seems to be an easier choice.
- 3. Driving with an expired license: Driving with a revoked, suspended, or expired license is the same as driving with no license at all. A license can be revoked or suspended if the driver fails to comply with the driving guidelines or rules and regulations. Moreover, drivers are legally required to renew their license after it expires. Hence, if someone gets caught up in an accident while their license is suspended, revoked, or expired, they would run away.
- 4. Driving without automobile insurance: Another one of the major legal requirements for driving is getting automobile insurance. However, if a person cannot afford to get the said insurance, he’d have to pay a penalty for non-compliance. In such a situation, it is quite normal for drivers to flee from the scene of the accident to avoid accountability.
- 5. Running away out of panic: A major portion of the hit and run accidents are a result of panic caused by the accident. Being involved in an accident is a traumatic experience no matter how strong a person is mental. Especially if a driver accidentally ends up hurting someone due to their negligence or error, they might drive away in panic. A hit and run accident caused by such drivers are not caused out of a desire to evade accountability. Such drivers do it on impulse and usually, come back to take responsibility for their mistake after calming down.
As a result, A hit-and-run driver gets to face severe legal consequences. Running away after causing an accident and hurting people is not only unethical but also against the law. While an accident could be regarded as a mistake, a hit and run are treated as a criminal offense. Moreover, it entitles the victims to press legal charges against the hit-and-run driver. A personal injury lawsuit by the victims would land the perpetrator in jail in no time!
A hit-and-run accident can leave you shocked and on the verge of a panic attack. It’s is totally understandable for you to even curl up in a ball or freeze on the spot. That’s exactly how severe such situations can be. However, here’s a shortlist of the dos and don’ts of a hit-and-run accident.
Dos of a hit and run accident:
If you ever find yourself in a hit and run accident, or any accident, here’s what you need to do:
Call the police:
The first thing you should do after getting in a hit-and-run accident is to call the authorities. The sooner you call the police the better it is. If you have been injured, the police would bear witness to that. They would also be able to help you calm down and provide you with a sense of security you’d need in that situation.
Get yourself checked for injuries:
Get yourself checked for injuries, both internal and external by asking for medical help. You could ask the police officials if you or someone else on the scene needs medical attention. Or you could call for an ambulance yourself. Your safety should always be your top priority.
Call your lawyer:
This is very important. Especially if your vehicle has been damaged or you have been injured. You need to call your lawyer to press charges against the hit-and-run driver. Your lawyer will not only be able to guide you. but also help you take care of the legal matters.
Don’ts of a hit and run accident
If you’re ever in a hit and run accident, don’t do the following things:
Don’t run after the fleeing driver
No matter how angry or upset you feel, chasing a fleeing hit-and-run driver is not a wise call to make. So, don’t follow the other driver if he’s trying to run away from the scene of the crime.
Don’t be the fleeing driver:
Don’t run away from the scene of the accident without leaving your contact details or getting help for those who got injured. It is a criminal offense and could land you in jail.
Don’t go into the details without consulting a lawyer
Don’t go into the details of the accident unless you’ve spoken to an experienced and trustworthy lawyer. Otherwise, you might end up implicating yourself in the accident.
Hit and run drivers often flee the scene of an accident because they are driving while intoxicated, driving on a suspended license, are driving without insurance coverage to their vehicle, have warrants out for their arrest for other unrelated (or related) charges or simply are too frightened to stay and ‘face the music’. No matter what the reason – it is important to know that it is illegal to leave the scene of an accident – and if the person is caught they will face additional legal challenges that could include jail time as well as steeper fines.