An Attorney Discusses Hit and Run Accidents
Hit and run accidents are cowardly. If someone causes an accident, the right thing to do is exchange information with the other driver, not speed away, leaving the other driver injured and holding the bag. A driver who fled the scene of the incident may have severely injured you or killed a loved one. Goodwin Como, P.C. fights to get justice for clients in and around Uniontown and throughout Southwestern Pennsylvania.
Hit and Run Statistics
According to the AAA Newsroom, more than one hit-and-run crash occurs every minute on U.S. roads. Further:
- An average of 682,000 hit-and-run crashes have occurred each year since 2006.
- Nearly 65 percent of people killed in hit-and-run crashes were pedestrians or bicyclists.
- In addition, hit-and-run deaths in the U.S. have increased an average of 7.2 percent each year since 2009.
Pennsylvania Law Governing Hit and Run Accidents
Under Title 75 of the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code, The driver of any vehicle involved in a motor vehicle accident, even if the damaged vehicle is parked and unoccupied, that results in injury or property damage, is required to:
- Stop their vehicle at the scene or as close to the scene as possible,
- Provide their name, address, registration number, and driver’s license to others involved in the accident (or leave a note with the information if the car is unoccupied), and
- Assist any injured persons.
You’re required to file a report within five days of the accident if the accident was not investigated by the police and the accident resulted in death, injury, or severe damage to any vehicle.
The penalties for leaving the scene of an accident in Pennsylvania largely depend on the severity of the accident. If the accident only resulted in property damage and you fled the scene, you could be convicted of a 3rd-degree misdemeanor and face:
- Up to one year in prison
- A fine up to $2,500
If the accident resulted in injuries, you could be convicted of a 3rd-degree felony and face:
- A minimum 90-day jail sentence (with a potential jail sentence of up to seven years)
- A minimum $1,000 fine
If the accident resulted in death, you could be convicted of a 2nd-degree felony and face:
- A minimum of three years in prison, with a potential prison sentence of up to seven years
- A minimum $2,500 fine
In addition to these penalties, you risk losing your license temporarily or permanently.
What Do I do If I’m a Victim in a Hit and Run Accident?
Do not chase the fleeing driver. Anyone who would hit another car and flee the scene, probably at high speeds, is not someone you want to catch. Further, you may miss the opportunity to speak with key witnesses. Instead:
- Contact law enforcement, and have any injuries examined by a health professional. If you’re injured, call an ambulance (911). Contact the police and provide the details of the hit-and-run.
- Locate witnesses. Identify any potential witnesses and collect their contact information.
- Collect information. Gather as much information about the fleeing driver and car, including the license plate number, a description of the vehicle, the direction the vehicle was headed, and photos of the accident scene.
- Contact Goodwin Como, P.C. immediately so that we can begin to help you as quickly as possible. We offer a free consultation.
We’re people like you who are eager to hear your story in your own words. But make no mistake: we’ll handle your claim efficiently. We’ll begin an investigation and discuss your options. We’ll explain your best options in everyday language rather than lawyer-speak. We’ll fight to help you obtain justice and financial compensation. We have recovered millions in verdicts and settlements for people just like you over the years. Contact us today or simply call us at 724-438-1616 for your free consultation.