Hit & Run Accident
Every driver should know what to do if they are ever involved in an accident. They should always stop, give identifying information, and render medical aid to anyone who is hurt.
It may seem like common sense, but unfortunately, not everyone follows these rules. Some drivers flee the accident scene for some reason, leaving behind victims who are seriously injured or even killed. This is illegal and if the driver is caught, they could be charged with fines and other penalties, depending on the situation.
If you have been injured by a hit and run driver, let the Decatur personal injury lawyers at Shiver Hamilton Campbell handle your case. We can help you understand your options for compensation.
Georgia’s Hit and Run Law
Under O.C.G.A. § 40-6-270, when a driver is involved in an accident with an occupied vehicle, they must stop at the accident scene. They must also perform the following actions:
- Give their name, address, and registration number of the vehicle.
- Show their driver’s license to the other drivers involved.
- Render medical assistance to those who are injured.
- Call 911 if anyone is unconscious, unable to communicate, or deceased.
Neglecting to perform any of these actions can result in a misdemeanor or felony offense, depending on the circumstances. For example, a hit and run offense that results in minor damage or injury is punishable by a misdemeanor. The penalties include a fine ranging from $300 to $1,000, as well as up to 12 months in prison. When the accident results in serious injury or death, the crime is elevated to a felony. The driver can face 1-5 years in prison. All hit and run offenses also have a mandatory license suspension period of one year.
Why Do Drivers Flee the Accident Scene?
There are several main reasons why drivers don’t stop after an accident:
- They don’t have insurance. A person with no insurance will not stop because they want to pay the fines for being uninsured.
- They have outstanding warrants. A driver with a warrant for their arrest will wand to avoid any possible interaction with a police officer.
- They have been drinking. Many drivers want to avoid a DUI if they have been drinking alcohol, especially if they have previous DUI convictions on their record.
- They have legal issues. If a person is on parole or an illegal immigrant, for example, they may refuse to stop, as they don’t want to deal with the risk of facing penalties.
- They panic. Getting into an accident can cause a fight or flight response in a driver. Their instinct may be to run rather than remain at the scene.
Contact Us Today
Getting injured by a hit and run driver can be a complicated situation. How do you obtain compensation for your injuries when the at-fault driver cannot be located?
Hit and run accidents can be complex. The Decatur lawyers at Shiver Hamilton Campbell can help you understand the next steps. Schedule a free consultation today. Call (877) 215-6111 or fill out the online form.