Hit and run accidents incur serious penalties in the state of Ohio that can lead to both long term and short term ramifications. There are a myriad of factors to consider both if you are the victim of a hit and run accident or you are considering fleeing the scene of an accident. If you are dealing with the fallout of a hit and run, consider contacting a Columbus car accident attorney today.
Even if the car is parked and the driver is not present on the scene, under Ohio state law, the driver of the moving vehicle must stop after the accident and at least leave a note. Failure to do so is a substantial crime with many associated penalties.
Penalties of Failing to Stop
In the state of Ohio, failing to stop after an accident is called a hit skip. It does not matter how minor the damages or whether or not one of the drivers is present for the accident, drivers are always mandated to stop.
Some of the the penalties for a hit skip include:
- Up to six months in prison;
- Up to a $500 in fines; and
- A minimum of six months licence suspensions.
These are significant penalties, especially if you rely on your car as a source of income or for your education. Disregarding the moral implications of a hit skip, the legal consequences can have you hurting financially as well as a permanent mark on your criminal record. Especially in an age of prolific video surveillance, you must assume that someone is watching and odds are they have a way to record the incident.
Examples of Hit Skip Violations
Hit skip violations do not only pertain to vehicle on vehicle collisions. A driver’s requirement to stop also applies to colliding with public and private property.
Here are a few examples of such violations:
- A driver collides with a curb, sign, building or any stationary object that results in property damage;
- A driver collides with another vehicle causing vehicular damage, property damage or personal injury;
- A driver hits a parked car resulting in various damages; or
- A driver slides on ice, snow or hydroplanes, causing property damage or personal injury.
It does not matter about the cause of the accident, drivers are always required to stop following a crash. Even if the accident is not your fault, you could face blame for fleeing the scene.
Why Drivers Flee the Scene of an Accident
In most cases drivers have a compelling reason to not face the consequences of an auto accident. It cannot always be blamed simply on moral failure or a momentary lapse in judgement.
Some common reasons include:
- Driving with a suspended licence. Drivers with a suspended licence will face penalties whether or not the accident was their fault and thus have greater incentives to flee the scene.
- Drunk or impaired drivers. These drivers could face serious jail time for causing or even being involved in an accident while under the influence of alcohol or narcotics.
- Uninsured drivers. These drivers will face costly financial penalties and will be required to pay for the accident out of pocket, so fleeing the scene can be appealing to an uninsured driver.
Contact a Car Accident Attorney Today
If you have been the victim of a hit and run accident in Columbus, Ohio, do not hesitate to contact a car accident lawyer at the Ohio Car Accident Lawyers . Our experienced attorneys will help guide you through this incredibly difficult situation and ensure you receive proper damages and remediations. Contact us today for a free consultation.