Leaving The Scene Of An Accident In Pennsylvania
Hit and run charges in Pennsylvania are a serious matter. If you have been accused of leaving the scene of an accident, you may be at risk of facing jail time, probation, extensive costs, payment of restitution to the other party (even if you were not at fault for the accident), and a suspension of your license.
Pennsylvania law requires that anyone involved in an automobile accident resulting in property damage, personal injury or death, to immediately stop at the scene of the accident, provide identification, provide insurance information, and assist anyone who may be hurt. Even if the accident was entirely the fault of the other person, you could face criminal consequences for not stopping. Failing to do so can turn even a minor incident into a major issue that can have life-altering consequences.
Pennsylvania Hit and Run Law
The possible penalties for leaving the scene of an accident vary depending upon the amount of damage and the level of injury caused. Drivers convicted of leaving the scene of an accident causing serious bodily injury may face third degree felony charges. If charged and convicted of this felony, the driver faces a jail sentence of not less than 90 days, a minimum fine of $1,000 (this does not include damages to the injured person), and up to 7 years in prison. If convicted of a hit and run accident involving death, the minimum sentence is a 1 year prison term and a minimum fine of $2,500 (again, not including damages to the family of the victim). Even those convicted of leaving the scene of a minor “fender bender” could face up to a year in jail, a fine of $2500, and a loss of driver’s license.
Steps To Follow if you Have Been in an Accident In Pennsylvanis
At the scene of an accident, it’s natural to feel scared, confused and emotional. This can make it hard to remember everything you should do to protect your rights in this situation. Here are eight important steps you should remember when dealing with an automobile accident.
- Stop immediately and stay at the scene until police arrive.
- Check on all drivers and passengers and call 911 if necessary.
- Call the police. Even if it is just a “fender bender,” it is important to always contact police, and to stay at the scene until they have taken their report.
- Exchange information with the other vehicle(s) involved.
- Talk to witnesses. Obtain their contact information if possible.
- Take pictures of damages and injuries.
- Inform your insurance company.
- Consider hiring an attorney to ensure all appropriate expenses are covered.
How Colgan & Associates Can Help
Our experienced traffic lawyers are here to help you! At Colgan & Associates, we understand every aspect of Pennsylvania’s traffic law and can help ensure your rights are fully represented. Especially when an accident results in serious injuries or damages, don’t take the chance of incurring hefty fines, penalties or jail time. Talk with our experienced lawyers who can advise of your best options to resolve the matter quickly. Call us today!.