Legal obligations of persons who are in accidents involving injuries vary from state to state. However, they must typically notify emergency personnel at the very least, and some states mandate the uninjured driver must assist the injury victim in other capacities, if necessary. It is also the duty of all persons involved in the accident to share personal contact and insurance information with one another. If a driver leaves the scene of the accident hastily without having met these requirements, he or she could face civil and criminal ramifications.
Civil Consequences of Leaving the Accident Scene
Motorists who leave the scene of an accident may face civil liability. The victim is eligible to bring suit against the negligent driver for engendering the accident, and for any injuries or harm which may have been worsened by the delay in receiving medical attention.
In addition to compensation for medical expenses and lost earnings, a defendant would most likely be ordered to pay the victim punitive damages. As the name implies, punitive damages are intended to admonish a wrongdoer, and stop others from making the same mistake. Punitive damages are determined on a subjective scale based on how nefarious the driver’s actions were, as well as his or her net worth.
Criminal Consequences of Leaving the Accident Scene
If a person is injured, fatally or otherwise, you could face incarceration if you flee the scene after striking them with your vehicle and not stopping to help them. The criminal sanctions can range from a misdemeanor to a felony, depending on the severity of the injuries and type of damage. If a death occurred, it is automatically a felony offense to flee the scene of an accident.
Additionally, a criminal case and a civil case can be brought against a hit and run driver simultaneously. However, the criminal case will typically be allowed to proceed ahead of the civil case. A criminal conviction may be used as supplemental evidence to support the corresponding civil suit, and is strong indication of liability that can expedite the civil proceedings.
The law upholds that every person is conscious of their duties at an accident scene, therefore, committing a hit and run could be admissible in court as evidence of awareness of responsibility.
Colorado Criminal Defense Attorney
If you are facing criminal charges in Colorado Springs, Briargate, Black Forest, Fountain Valley, or anywhere in the State of Colorado, you need an experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side. Sarah Christensen has the experience and resources to fight for your freedom and protect your future. Call (719) 634-7770 today to begin building a solid defense against these serious charges.