You’re involved in a rear-end car accident and it looks like the other driver is fine, and the damages aren’t too extensive from what you can see with your own eyes. You play out the many options you have in your head and wonder if you should simply drive away from the accident. Following an accident, fight or flight might kick in and, in a moment of feeling scared that you could face legal penalties, you might drive away from the scene of an accident or have the urge to do so. Never leave the scene of an accident.
You never know if someone in an accident has received severe injuries or, even worse, lost their life. Even if you think that nobody saw you bump the vehicle or crash into it, it is never a good idea to risk another person’s life by choosing to leave the scene of the crash. There are many legal consequences that you could face the rest of your life, which is why staying at the scene is the best option.
The Consequences of Leaving the Scene of an Accident
There are many repercussions and legal consequences involved in leaving the scene of an accident, but it depends on how severe the accident was. For instance, slight motor vehicle damage is not quite as serious as leaving the scene where the other driver has died due to your negligence.
One of the major aspects that many people do not think of right off the bat is that they could forever jeopardize their license if they choose to flee. This is why, instead of running away from the scene and being caught later, it is a good idea to stay there and call the police so that you don’t end up losing your license and going down the long road to try to get it back. In the meantime, losing your license could also mean that you don’t have transportation to get to work or you will have to pay fines and fees before you get your license back.
Another serious consequence that you could face, depending on the severity of the crime, are legal penalties that could end in fines and prison time. For instance, a bit of property damage might mean you will be charged with a misdemeanor and you might be facing fines that you are unable to afford on your own. If the accident led to serious injuries or a fatality, you could be facing a felony, which means time behind bars. In this case, again, the charges could have a huge impact on all aspects of your current life, from your job to your social relationships with those closest to you.
After an Accident
It is normal for panic to set in after any accident, no matter how big or small. However, staying at the scene and ensuring that police are coming is one of the best ways to move forward after an accident, knowing that you checked on the safety and wellbeing of others. If you have been involved in an accident or you have fallen victim to a hit-and-run at the hands of another party, our car accident attorneys at Katz, Kantor, Stonestreet & Buckner want you to know that you are not alone at this time. We have handled a variety of personal injury claims in West Virginia involving hit-and-run drivers and will accept your case with open arms. Please contact us to find out how we can assist you at this time at (304) 713-2014.