What Happens If You Leave the Scene of an Accident in Pennsylvania?
Leaving the scene of an accident, no matter the reason, is a serious matter in Pennsylvania. In fact, it is a crime that carries significant punishment if the motorist is found guilty.
When someone leaves the scene of an accident, they have committed a hit and run. It does not matter if the driver panicked. There is no excuse.
A Pittsburgh personal injury lawyer from our firm can help if you were involved in an accident in which the other driver fled the scene. We can also assist those who left the scene of an accident and realize they require prompt legal representation.
Accident scene law
State law requires the driver of a vehicle involved in a crash to remain at the scene with the car. Notify the police immediately.
Have your driver’s license, vehicle registration, and insurance information on hand. If anyone is injured, call 911 and try to help the injured party.
If the driver has been injured and cannot help others, any passengers in their vehicle should do so. The same holds if the driver cannot communicate because of their injuries.
Any occupants of the vehicle must call the police or emergency services and should provide as much information as possible about the driver, including name and contact information.
Leaving the scene penalties
Penalties in Pennsylvania for leaving the scene of an accident may include loss of the driver’s license, substantial fines, and possibly up to a year in prison. By law, leaving the scene is a third-degree misdemeanor.
If the accident involved a death or injury, penalties are much harsher. In such cases, leaving the scene could become a first-degree misdemeanor or a third-degree felony.
Punishment for a third-degree felony means at least 90 days spent in jail, in addition to fines. Should the accident victim die, it becomes a second-degree felony, in which the motorist faces up to three years in prison, along with fines.
Often, drivers flee the scene of the accident due to drunk driving or other circumstances– making them grossly negligent. Perhaps their license is suspended, or they do not have automobile insurance.
This only adds to potential incarceration time and financial penalties.
If arrested for a hit and run accident, do not speak with the police until you have obtained an attorney.
Hitting an untended vehicle
Sometimes, a driver may hit a parked vehicle, and they do not know how to report the damage. Under state law, the driver must attempt to find the car’s owner or place a note on the vehicle informing the owner of the incident.
Include your name, address, contact, and insurance information. You should also report the collision to the police.
Failure to take these actions and leaving the scene means the possibility of up to 90 days in jail if caught and found guilty.
If you or a loved one were injured by a hit and run driver, a Pittsburgh car accident lawyer could hold those responsible accountable for your injuries. You may receive compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, and more.
Contact us today
If you need the services of a Pittsburgh Car Accident Attorney call or text us 24/7 or contact us online to arrange a free consultation.
In either situation, we will review your case and let you know your options. Our experienced attorneys have recovered more than $1 billion in settlements and verdicts for clients. Our core value is “Doing Good by Doing Right.”