After a motor vehicle accident, the people involved are supposed to stop, assess the damage and call police or an ambulance if necessary. Information should be exchanged and people should check to make sure others are okay. Unfortunately, this cannot happen if a driver involved in the crash fails to stop.
Often, a driver leaves a crash scene because he or she doesn’t want to get in trouble for the accident or for whatever factors may have contributed to the accident. However, fleeing the scene will only make matters worse. Doing so can end with a driver facing legal penalties. Further, victims can wind up alone, injured and without anyone to call for help.
There are many reasons why a driver might leave an accident scene, including:
- Being drunk or impaired
- Driving without a valid license
- Not wanting to be late or take the time to stop
- Feeling panicked
- Being frightened or concerned about safety
- Being unaware there was an accident
As you may note, not every driver who leaves an accident scene is doing so because he or she is irresponsible or doesn’t want to get caught. There are times when a person is scared or when a person legitimately has no idea that something warranting a stop has happened. However, this is more likely the situation when a collision and any resulting damage is quite minor. When there is significant damage or injuries, it should be clear that a crash has occurred and that people need to stop.
In these situations, holding the fleeing driver accountable with a lawsuit can be crucial. Not only can it help victims collect much-needed compensation for damages, it can also serve as a way to ensure the driver is legally identified as an at-fault party.