Getting into a car accident can trigger some basic human instincts. The first impulse humans usually get after doing something wrong is to flee the scene. However, fleeing the scene of a car accident might lead to severe consequences down the road. Leaving without identifying yourself or providing aid to others involved is known as a hit-and-run.
It is the legal duty of all drivers involved in car accidents to help any injured person and call emergency services if required. The incident must be reported to the local law enforcement and information must be exchanged between the concerned parties. It is permitted to leave the scene of the accident to find help, but the driver must return as soon as possible. It is also illegal to flee after a collision with an unattended vehicle. The law expects the driver to make a reasonable effort to look for the owner. In case the owner cannot be found, the driver may leave a note with their contact information.
Failing to fulfill the above duties after being involved in a car accident may cause problems down the road. In cases where injury or death was caused as a result the accident, a hit-and-run is considered as a felony. The driver may face serious criminal charges and might have to spend several years in jail if found guilty. Smaller hit-and-run cases which do not involve injury are considered as misdemeanors and may result in hefty fines.
If you have been left at the scene of a car accident by another driver, it is your right to receive medical care and compensation. Getting an experienced attorney involved as soon as possible is essential, as they can file a complaint and discuss the situation with your insurance company.