What to know about hit-and-run accidents in Miami and DC
July 14, 2022at7:00 AM
A car accident is a stressful and traumatic event, and a driver fleeing the scene only compounds your stress. Whether you are the victim of a hit-and-run or being charged with one, learning everything you can about these accidents is critical to optimizing your situation. Here is everything you need to know about hit and run accidents:
What is a hit-and-run accident?
It is imperative to understand what constitutes a hit-and-run accident. A hit-and-run occurs when someone knowingly causes an accident, property damage, or injury and then flees the scene without providing any information or assistance.
Typically, these are misdemeanor charges, but in the event of injury, they can become felony charges. Still, it can be more complicated. Failure to offer assistance, provide sufficient information, or report the crash to the authorities also constitutes a hit-and-run accident.
Whether you are at fault or not is inconsequential, and it does not matter what kind of property was damaged. No parties involved in a collision can leave the scene.
Dos and don’ts after a hit-and-run accident
Vehicles involved in a collision that created property damage must stop in the nearest location that does not impede traffic or jeopardize the safety of other drivers.
If the owner is not nearby, the driver who collided with the property must locate and notify the owner or person in charge of the property. The driver must also contact the proper authorities, file a report, and leave a written notice with their contact information.
In the instance of injury or death resulting from an accident, the driver must provide reasonable assistance to injured persons and contact the police. If the police cannot come, the driver responsible must take the injured persons to the hospital.
Still, never admit fault without contacting your insurance company and calling an attorney first. Both parties should gather as much information as they can. If you are the victim and the driver flees, never follow the driver and always ask witnesses for additional information.
Failure to fulfill your obligation when involved in an accident can result in a hit-and-run charge.
Penalties for hit-and-runs
Penalties for hit-and-runs can include spikes in insurance coverage. These accidents can also result in up to $10,000 in fines and significant prison time depending on the severity.
Defenses for hit-and-runs
If you are being charged with a hit and run, your attorney may try several defenses. To assist your attorney, it is imperative to familiarize yourself with them. Common defenses for hit and run charges include situations when:
Only the defendant's car was damaged.
The defendant was not driving.
The accident caused injury only to the defendant.
You were unaware of the accident.
How prosecutors handle hit and runs
If you are charging someone with a hit-and-run accident, you must understand how prosecutors handle hit-and-runs to help your attorney. Prosecutors prove hit-and-runs by proving that:
While driving, the defendant was involved in a vehicle accident.
The accident caused damage to someone else’s property.
The driver knew they damaged another person’s property or that it was probable.
The driver failed to perform one of the essential duties mentioned above following an accident.
Contact us to schedule a meeting for unrivaled legal counsel
If you were recently involved in a hit-and-run accident, contacting an attorney is imperative. With Kurtz, Peters, and Associates, we are the premier law firm in Miami and Washington DC, and we specialize in personal injury and criminal defense law. Our extensive experience, unparalleled training, and commitment to providing tailored solutions and serving our community put us in a league of our own. Contact us to schedule a meeting to ensure you have home-court advantage in the courtroom.