Lawyer Wilmington NC: Consequences of Hit and Run Accident

One of the most basic human traits is to flee from trouble. Unfortunately, should this instinct kick in when you’re involved in an automobile accident, you could be facing a hit and run violation and if convicted, some very serious consequences.

But, what exactly constitutes a “hit and run” in the eyes of the law? Here, our auto accident lawyer in Wilmington NC explains.

What is a Hit and Run?

Legally speaking, a hit and run is defined as being involved in an automobile accident and then leaving the area without identifying yourself or rendering aid to anyone else involved who may need assistance. A hit and run usually involves another vehicle or a pedestrian, but it can also apply to fixed objects and in some cases, even animals. It can even apply in cases where a driver backs into another car in a parking lot and then leaves the scene without leaving a note.

It is important to note that you don’t have to be the cause of the accident to be charged with a hit and run. Simply the act of leaving the scene is enough for you to be charged with a hit and run. The only time leaving the scene is granted is when you must leave for emergency assistance, such as leaving the accident scene to try and obtain a cell phone signal to call for help. Of course, once the call is made, you must return to the site of the accident immediately.

The Criminal Consequences of a Hit and Run

In North Carolina, the law requires you to stop after being involved in an auto accident. Should you fail in your duty to stop, then you will charged with a hit and run violation. The severity of the offense and your potential sentence will be gauged by the severity of the accident.

In cases where only property damage or minimal injury occurred, the usual charge is a Class 1 misdemeanor. This carries a potential sentence of up to one year in jail and several different fines.

If the accident results in a serious injury or someone’s death, then the charge is escalated to a Class H felony. If you are charged with a Class H felony and this is your first offense, then you can expect to spend up to eight months in jail. If you have a prior criminal history, then your sentence could be substantially longer. Also, depending on your record, you may be eligible for probation rather than prison time.

The Civil Consequences of a Hit and Run

Jail time isn’t the only risk a negligent driver faces when they hit and run. If the accident involves another driver, then they may be able to sue the hit and run driver for monetary compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and property damage. While this type of lawsuit is common even in cases where a hit and run didn’t occur, the damages awarded to the victim will usually be substantially higher in cases where the negligent driver left the scene.

What Happens to a Driver’s License After a Hit and Run Conviction?

In almost every case, a driver convicted of a hit and run accident will have their driver’s license suspended or revoked for a period of at least six months. Again, the length of time the license is suspended or revoked is based on the severity of the accident and the driver’s prior criminal record.

Injured in a Hit and Run Accident? Call The Rodzik Law Group Today

If you are a victim of a hit and run, you need to call a lawyer in Wilmington NC immediately. The faster you act, the easier it will be to track down the responsible party. At The Rodzik Law Group, our lawyers are experienced in piecing together these types of complex cases. We will find the responsible party and help you get the justice and compensation you deserve. We will work tirelessly on your behalf until we reach the most positive outcome legally possible.

Contact The Rodzik Law Group's lawyer in Wilmington NC today at 910-762-1199 to schedule a free initial consultation.