Hit and Run
Running away from a scene of a vehicular accident may be a means to avoid liabilities. Only if you will not be caught. Otherwise, you just caused more trouble to yourself.
But not only it is morally wrong, it is illegal too. Every person has the legal duty to help another person in distress.
For the victim, hit and run posed difficulty in seeking redress against the erring party. Hitting someone or someone else’s property is already a legal wrong. Running away from the scene to avoid the consequence adds insult to the injury. Historically, hit and run has been tagged as a menace to the administration of justice. Thereby, elevating the status of this legal wrong higher from a mere act of civil negligence.
In some states, hit and run incidents are criminalized. The act is punishable by imprisonment on top of liabilities for damages. Other states take running as an aggravating circumstance indicative of bad faith. Thereby, it justifies higher penalties and stiffer monetary indemnifications. Thus, the award would include moral and temperate damages on top of actual damages.
The Norms of Conduct in a Vehicular Accident
There are accepted norms which most states share. Primarily, parties to the accident are obligated to not abandon the other party in an accident. Furthermore, they are also obligated to help a party who needs immediate medical attention. This is the foremost of all principles. Other norms are as follows:
As soon as practicable, stop your vehicle and do not move anything.
Contact traffic authorities to document the scene of the vehicular accident.
Whenever practicable, speak with other party and exchange contact and insurance information.
Whenever practicable, also have personal documentation of the accident. Take pictures and know the names and contact details of the people around who may have witnessed the crash.
Collision of Unattended Vehicle or Things.
There are scenarios when someone hits an unattended vehicle or thing. When waiting for the owner to return is not practicable, the erring party may leave; provided, however, that he takes note of the identity of the damaged property. He should also leave a note containing his contact details. But that is only the bare minimum. This is mostly applicable if the accident only results in minor damage to property. Otherwise, it is best if he reports the incident to the authorities and has the accident documented before he leaves the scene.
Instances When Running is Permitted
Safety to one’s life is the paramount consideration in almost all circumstances. This is a basic principle. This includes being involved in a vehicular accident. Whenever there is a likely threat to one’s life, he may run from it. In such situation, one is permitted to run from the scene of a vehicular accident.
Parties involved in a vehicular accident are obligated to report the incident to the authorities. The reason is not only legal but also practical. One may use the report to process insurance claim, even if there is no case filed in court. The report will form part of road accident and safety statistics. These statistics may be used as bases for safety innovations. Moreover, it is best to speak with an attorney following or immediately after a vehicular accident. Your attorney will help defend your interest and mitigate exposure to liabilities arising from the accident.