A car crash can be a dangerous and frightening situation. Being involved with any pedestrian accident can lead to severe or even fatal injuries. And when vehicle accidents happen, it’s important to act as fast as possible to make sure that everyone involved is safe. However, more often than not, when there is an accident this means that there is someone who’s hurt and worst, some fatality.
If there are any vehicular accidents that occur, state traffic regulations require the drivers involved to follow specific procedures right away after the incident. If you are from New York, here are some important things you have to know about hit and run situations:
Escaping from the scene is a crime
The driver who’s at fault must stay at the site after the incident happens, get any medical help for those in need, and wait for the police to arrive. Emergency services should be reached out to treat any person who got injured, and the insurance data should be exchanged to repair any possible damage.
Fleeing from the scene of the accident will instantly increase suspicion about the driver who is at fault. The authorities may suspect that the driver might be intoxicated or had no insurance.
Unfortunately, for a countless number of accident victims across the state of New York, the severity of their injuries is worsened by the reality that they are left unnoticed at the scene of the incident just because the driver who’s at fault left the victim. If you are a victim of a hit-and-run accident in New York, make sure that you have a reliable New York car accident lawyer to help you get the justice you deserve.
If someone got involved in a car crash and then leaves the event site, the authorities might charge them with a hit-and-run offense. It was just recently when New York state regulation strictly watched out for hit-and-run accidents, raising the penalties related to this kind of traffic offense.
Remember that if you leave the scene of a car accident and it results in several physical injuries is considered a crime and being convicted means that you will have a lifetime criminal record. A criminal record will have severe negative effects on many aspects of your life, so make sure you got a great defense attorney to help you out.
Penalties for hit and run cases
The legal consequences for hit-and-run are based on the degree of the damages of the accident. Escaping from a minor collision might result in only a fine, while leaving the scene of the crash that led to death may bring criminal charges.
Based on the New York State Penal Code, some penalties include:
- Up to $0-$250 fine for leaving the site of a minor car crash, if it’s only involving property damage and there is no harm or injuries involved.
- If someone is hurt, the fine can go up to $250 to $5000, and depends on how severe the injury is.
- If you leave the scene of the accident and there’s no reported injuries, you can spend a jail time of 15 days. If you refuse to provide your insurance data following the accident with injuries can mean jail time of not less than 3 months to a year and that’s for leaving the accident area before the authorities arrive.
- Up to six months of imprisonment in the county jail for fleeing the scene of an accident which has an estimated damage of over $200.
- A penalty of two to ten years, and now, has been raised to a maximum of twenty years in prison for leaving the site of the accident that resulted in critical injury or fatality.
Escaping from the crash site is already a big issue and can be charged with a criminal offense. Charges for hit and run don’t have to result in jail time. A professional defense attorney might be able to help you to work with the court to get the accused a period of probation instead of imprisonment for just a minor hit-and-run case.
Each case is not the same, and you might have a valid reason for not staying at the site after an accident. The defense lawyer can also argue not to suspend the defendant’s driver’s license or to lessen the suspension time frame.
When someone is engaged in a car accident, it is important to act quickly and remain calm. Ensuring that everyone is safe or calling an emergency service if someone is injured is the first thing to do, then insurance information should be provided and exchanged. If any police officer arrives, both drivers should stay and wait to talk with the police.
Author’s Info Michele S. Mirman is the founding partner of Mirman, Markovits and Landau in addition to being an award-winning personal injury lawyer with over 43 years experience. She has won over $1 billion in awards and settlements for her numerous, long time clients. Michele is known as a tough negotiator and an excellent trial lawyer. She has served on judicial rating committees for different New York State organizations, earned Lifetime Achievement to America’s Top 100 Attorneys, is recognized as a high stakes litigator and enjoys an outstanding 10 ranking from Avvo.