A car crash often refers to a collision with another vehicle, pedestrian, or any obstacle in the roadway. Also known as a motor vehicle collision, it may result in serious injury, property damage, or even fatality. The individual at fault would usually render aid to the victim, call the police department for assistance, and document what happened for insurance policy claims. Hit and run accidents, however, differ largely from the usual car accident. The offender who caused the traffic accident flees the scene, leaving behind the vehicular damages and any accident victims, especially those with serious injuries.
In California, the following circumstances are referred to as hit and runs:
- If the guilty party fled the scene of the vehicle accident
- If they refuse to identify themselves to the victim
- If the perpetrator has caused property damages due to traffic collision
- If they have caused bodily injury to the innocent victims
- If their actions caused another driver to be involved in an accident
- After an accident, the individual fled the scene before the police officers arrive
Hit and run accidents are classified as such through a case evaluation of the accident report. Penalties and fines depend on the conviction given after prosecution. Under the California justice system, hit and run accidents may be classified as misdemeanors or felonies. If the individual facing criminal charges has damaged the property of the other party but there are no fatalities, it is likely a misdemeanor. However, if the violations committed by the perpetrator caused the impairment, injury, or death (meaning, a fatal crash) among pedestrians, it is generally classified as a felony criminal offense. Convictions also depend on the extent of property damages and if an injured person is in critical condition, so a thorough criminal investigation is always necessitated by the prosecutor.
If you are in a parking lot and you accidentally crashed into one of the parked cars, seek help from the police officers around the area and wait to have an exchange of details with the owner of the car. Hit and run cases also happen when you are in motion. When your car crashes with another vehicle while driving on an intersection, do not leave the scene of the accident. Your license plate number and car model would be remembered by the victim and eventually be reported to the police. Stop your car and park it in a safe area. Help the victim and make sure they receive the medical attention they need.
Now if it was your car that caused the crash, avoid a criminal conviction by not fleeing the scene. It is possible not to be charged if you do the right steps and if you get a good criminal defense attorney. If you have caused the offenses, move your car to a safe area and turn off your vehicle. Communicate with the other driver and share information including your name and address, contact number, driver’s license, vehicle registration, and the insurance details. If the car is not yours, give the name and phone number of the owner.
Avoid offenses, trips to the courtroom, or even jail time by doing the right course of action. The most important thing to do is to seek help from law authorities and consult with a trusted criminal defense lawyer. Contact us at the Law Offices of Marc Grossman for a free consultation.