If you're in an accident, what happens if you flee the scene?
In Georgia, it's a crime. If you're involved in a hit-and-run, you could face charges of fleeing the scene of an accident.
What exactly does the law say about hit-and-runs?
The rule is this: If you get into an accident, you have to stop your car -- especially when your accident results in personal injury to someone, whether minor or serious. You must also provide your name, address, and the registration number of your vehicle.
If anyone at the scene is injured, you have a legal duty to assist them in getting transportation to a hospital. This means you should call 911 if they appear gravely hurt.
Failure to do any of these things can lead to criminal charges. Hit-and-run is a misdemeanor in Georgia. This could come with jail time of up to 12 months and a fine of $1,000.
If there's a death by vehicle, you can face even more jail time, if you caused the accident due to criminal negligence. This is the case where the accident was caused by reckless speeding, DUI, or other reckless driving. While those charges are pretty bad, fleeing the scene won't make a bad situation better. It will only make the situation that much worse.
If you're in a car accident, here are some steps you should take immediately:
- Stay at the scene.
- Trade insurance information, if the other person in the accident is in the shape to do so.
- Check to see if anyone is injured.
- If anyone is injured, call 911.
- Take pictures of the scene.
- Take pictures of your vehicle.
- Call your insurance immediately.
- Wait until emergency responders arrive.
In addition to criminal charges for hit-and-run, you'll likely also face civil lawsuits over the damage you caused. That's why it's wise to consult an experienced attorney if this ever happens to you.
- What is Georgia's Statute of Limitations in Car Accident Lawsuits? (FindLaw's Atlanta Injury News Blog)
- What Kinds of Damages May I Claim for Car Accident Injuries? (FindLaw)
- Find an Atlanta Injury Lawyer (FindLaw)