6 Consequences of Fleeing the Scene of a Car Accident

Let’s face it, no matter how safe and responsible a driver you are, accidents can happen. It happens to everyone at some point. If you are in an unfortunate situation where you have been involved in a car accident, it is crucial to stay calm and take the appropriate steps to ensure your safety and legal protection.

Unfortunately, many people make the mistake of fleeing the scene of an accident, believing that this will save them from potential trouble or punishment. However, leaving the scene of an accident can have serious consequences for your safety and your legal standing. Here are six dangers of fleeing the scene of a car accident.

Consequence #1: Criminal Charges

The most severe consequence of fleeing the scene of an accident is possible criminal charges. Depending on the accident’s severity, you could be charged with a hit-and-run or vehicular assault. A conviction could lead to jail time and hefty fines.

If someone was injured in the accident, you could face more severe penalties like felony charges. You will need to consult a car accident lawyer for professional advice.

Consequence #2: Civil Penalties

In addition to criminal charges, you may also be held liable for any damages caused by accident through a civil lawsuit. Even if you are not found guilty of a crime or charged with any penalties, if the other party decides to take legal action against you, you could still be on the hook for their medical expenses, property damage, and other costs associated with the accident.

Consequence #3: License Suspension

Fleeing the scene of an accident can result in a suspension or revocation of your driver’s license. Depending on your state laws and the circumstances of the accident, you could be facing months or even years without a license. License revocation can be challenging to navigate, as it can prevent you from driving to work or even getting to necessary appointments.

Consequence #4: Insurance Issues

Your insurance company could also decide to drop your coverage or significantly increase your rates if they discover that you have left the scene of an accident. Many insurance companies consider this behaviour negligent and irresponsible, and they may decide it is not worth the risk to continue your coverage.

Drivers charged with hit-and-runs often find it hard to get any kind of car insurance at all. Who would want to insure someone who is not responsible for driving? Either way, you will inevitably pay more for whatever coverage you can get.

Consequence #5: Difficulty Finding Work or Apartments

Employers and landlords can access your criminal record when hiring and making housing decisions in many states. If you have been convicted of fleeing the scene of an accident, it could make finding a job or apartment much more difficult.

A criminal record can be a warning sign for employers and landlords that you may not be trustworthy or responsible enough to fill their positions.

Consequence #6: Reputation Damage

Your reputation may also suffer if you are found guilty of fleeing the scene of an accident. News reports and court proceedings may paint you negatively, and your friends, family, and community may view you as careless or irresponsible. This could affect your relationships with them and make it harder to find acceptance in the future.

What to Do Instead of Fleeing the Scene

No matter the circumstances, fleeing the scene of a car accident can have serious consequences. Even though you may feel tempted to leave to avoid legal trouble or financial responsibility, it is important to remember that your decision will only compound these costs.

Being honest and staying on the scene are always better options than leaving in a hurry. If you have questions about your legal rights and responsibilities after an accident, do not hesitate to consult a qualified car accident attorney. You can contact us today if you need legal advice or assistance.

1. Stay at the Scene and Call 911

If you are involved in an accident, it is important to remain on the scene and contact emergency services. This will ensure that your safety and the safety of others are taken care of first and foremost. It also allows you to explain what happened before any judgment has been made or blame assigned.

2. Exchange Information and Document the Scene

Make sure to exchange contact, insurance, and vehicle information with all parties involved in the accident. You should also take pictures of the vehicles and the area around them to help establish what happened during the accident. This can be very useful evidence if a legal dispute arises later on.

3. Speak to a Lawyer

It is always best to speak with an experienced car accident attorney before making any statements or admitting guilt in court. A good attorney can advise you on your legal rights and ensure you do not incriminate yourself.

4. Be Honest with Your Insurance Company

When speaking with your insurance company, it is crucial to be honest and forthcoming. Any misrepresentation of the facts can lead to a denied claim or even an investigation by the state’s insurance department.