Most people do not realize how much a single car accident can change their life until they are in one. Although their initial concerns involve injuries and property damage, very few of them give much thought to the ramifications of leaving the scene of the accident. Certain circumstances can make fleeing the scene of a car accident a criminal matter.
If you end up in a collision with another motorist or a building or pedestrian, you could end up spending some time behind bars. To avoid compromising your promising future, here are some pointers to keep in mind about leaving the scene of a motor vehicle collision:
Is fleeing a car accident scene worth it?
Many jurisdictions all over the country, especially in Macon, classify leaving an accident that causes bodily harm or property damage as a hit-and-run. It is not uncommon for people to feel shaken up after experiencing such a traumatic event. You might feel the same way and worried about the possible consequences, mainly if you were at fault. Regardless of how much you do not want to deal with the aftermath, if you do not handle it responsibly by checking yourself, passengers and occupants of the other vehicle for injuries and exchanging contact and insurance information, insurance premium hikes could be the least of your worries.
The consequences of self-preservation
Fleeing the scene of a car accident in which everyone is okay is a misdemeanor. If caught, you risk several points on your driving record and the suspension of your driving privileges. There are also the non-criminal and administrative consequences to consider, such as higher insurance rates. A hit-and-run charge is not always just a traffic infraction. It can become a criminal matter if someone ends up with significant injuries or damages to her or his vehicle/property or dies as a result of the accident. The consequences for this type of hit-and-run are a felony charge that carries a maximum multi-year prison sentence upon conviction.
Most car accidents that take place are not intentional or expected. In the eyes of the law, it does not matter if you were aware of your actions. Although the law does not penalize motorists for not filing police reports about their car accidents, many insurers do by reducing settlement offers and, in some cases, not covering them at all. Get in the habit of forgoing self-preservation and practicing proper after-collision etiquette to prevent legal complications.