After a car accident, many people are in a state of shock, so it can be difficult to focus on all the steps that need to be taken to ensure that sufficient information has been exchanged. What is most important is that a driver does not leave the scene of an accident without stopping.
Leaving the scene of a car accident is considered a crime in nearly all states, including Florida. At Chanfrau & Chanfrau, our car accident lawyers have thorough knowledge of traffic laws. We are prepared to help our Daytona Beach, FL, clients understand the potential penalties of leaving the scene of a car accident, as well as the proper steps that should be taken after an accident.
Hit and Run
Leaving the scene of an accident is a crime that is more commonly referred to as hit and run. State laws require that drivers involved in an accident with another person’s property stop and report their name, address, and driver’s license and registration information. If the owner of the property is not available, the accident should be reported to the nearest law enforcement agency.
If an accident involves personal injury, legal requirements are even stricter. Anyone involved in an accident that involves injury must stop, provide all necessary personal information, and provide reasonable assistance to the injured party. This includes calling for medical treatment for the injured party. If the injured person is unable to accept and exchange personal information due to injuries, information must be provided to local law enforcement.
A failure to adhere to any of these guidelines is considered a hit and run. Depending on the details of the accident, a hit and run may be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. Leaving the scene of a car accident is a crime that carries serious penalties.
Hit and Run Penalties
Hit and run penalties vary based on how the crime is charged. If a person leaves the scene of an accident that does not involve bodily injury, they will likely be charged with a misdemeanor. In the Daytona Beach area, a misdemeanor charge for leaving the scene of an accident may result in:
- Up to 60 days in jail
- Up to six months of probation
- A fine of up to $500
When someone leaves the scene of an accident that involves bodily injury, the crime will be charged as a felony, and their punishment will be harsher. Potential penalties for a felony hit and run include:
- Up to five years in prison
- Up to five years of probation
- Fine of up to $5,000
- Loss of driver’s license for a minimum of three years
What to Do after a Car Accident
After a car accident, there are several things our Daytona Beach clients should do:
- Stop the vehicle immediately
- Exchange name, address, phone number, driver’s license, and registration information with other involved parties
- Call for any necessary medical help
- Report the accident to the police
- Take pictures of the scene of the accident
- Collect contact information from accident witnesses
- Refrain from admitting fault for the accident
- Contact a car accident attorney
If you have been involved in a car accident, it is highly beneficial to work with a knowledgeable car accident lawyer. To find out how the legal team at Chanfrau & Chanfrau can be of assistance following a car accident, send us a message at your earliest convenience or call our legal practice at (386) 258-7313.