In Pennsylvania, a driver involved in an auto accident is required to stop and stay until he takes care of his responsibilities. Even if no one is hurt, the drivers still must provide their names and addresses and show license and registration. If a driver fails to stop, he has committed the crime of a hit and run, officially known as leaving the scene of an accident. The penalties for a hit and run increase if anyone was injured in the crash. If you are not responsible for the accident, leaving the scene might still cause you to be charged with a crime, and you could be deemed liable due to an assumption that you would not have fled if you weren’t at fault. As a result, you could end up having difficulty obtaining the compensation to which you are entitled for your property damage and your physical injuries. If you were injured as a result of someone else engaging in a hit and run, it is best to retain personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Even if it is not possible to identify the driver, if you have the right kind of car insurance, you should be able to collect from your own policy.
If a driver is involved in a car accident, regardless of who is responsible, he is required to stop at the scene or as close to where the crash occurred as possible. He is required to remain at the scene, provide the legally required information, and give aid to anyone who is injured.
What Information Must you Provide?
Anyone who is in a car accident is required to provide his name address and registration number. He is required to cooperate with police to the extent required, which means providing the mentioned information along with his driver’s license and insurance information.
You Must Provide Help
In addition to giving the required information, if someone is injured, you are required to “render” aid. Rendering aid generally means contacting the authorities to come and get the person and bring him to the hospital. It does not mean that you yourself must physically treat the person yourself.
Not the Driver?
If the driver is unable to provide the required information because he is disabled, the passengers, if able to do so, are required to call for help as well as identify themselves and the driver and/or owner of the vehicle.
Leaving the Scene
If you are involved in a hit and run you will find the penalties to be quite severe. If no one is injured, the hit and run is a misdemeanor. If, however, someone is seriously injured, the crime becomes a felony of the third degree. The minimum term in prison is 90 days and the minimum fine is $1,000. If someone dies, the crime is a felony of the second degree. The minimum term in prison is three years and the minimum fine is $2,500. If the person who left the scene turned out to be grossly negligent in causing the accident, for example drunk or under the influence, the penalties can be substantially greater.
Only General Information
Please keep in mind, this is just a general summary of the law. For complete details of your obligations if you are in a car accident, please review the full statute. If you engaged in a hit and run, you should call a criminal defense attorney immediately for representation.
Please remember, even if the accident is not your fault, leaving the scene means you can be charged with a hit and run. If someone you love has been hurt or killed by a driver who fled the scene of the accident, he or she may be held liable and may be required to pay compensation to you. If you would like more information regarding car accident claims consult the Pennsylvania personal injury attorneys of Lowenthal & Abrams at 888-979-7298.