Ernenwein & Johnson, LLP

Leaving the scene of an accident qualifies as a hit and run

For a lot of people, suddenly crashing into another vehicle, a piece of property or even a pedestrian can be alarming and cause instant panic. These feelings are often significantly worsened for people in California who have some type of record and want to avoid coming into contact with the authorities. However, if they choose to flee the scene of the accident they just caused, they are only asking to get into deeper trouble with the law. 

It is imperative that all involved parties of an accident remain on the scene until first responders arrive, an investigation is completed and information is exchanged between drivers. While there may be cases when a hit and run seems relatively minor and the person who caused it may not see much value in sticking around, their decision to leave can result in serious consequences. Regardless of how serious or how minor an accident may seem, the first step that both parties should take is to contact 911 and describe the situation and then patiently wait for help to arrive. 

According to Economical Insurance, people who are involved in a hit and run where the perpetrator is trying to flee the scene, are encouraged to describe the driver's physical appearance, vehicle appearance, license plate number and location of the accident. As such, it is almost guaranteed in many cases that people who leave the scene will be caught. In reality, it would have been much simpler for them to stay and take ownership of their mistake. 

There are many consequences for people who take off after causing an accident without waiting for authorities to arrive. According to Insurance.com, some of the consequences they may experience include legal fines, negative impacts on insurance rates and eligibility, significant points on their driving record and even jail time in serious cases. For people seeking a job where they are required to drive, a hit and run on their record may disqualify them from any opportunities of the sort for the foreseeable future.   

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