Drivers in hit-and-run accidents in Pennsylvania face felony charges

 In Motor Vehicle Accident
Motor vehicle drivers in Allegheny County who leave the scene of a car accident are often leaving their victims with physical injuries and property damage. Some of these accidents have also resulted in fatalities. Fortunately, there are laws in Pennsylvania that address the problem of hit-and-run car accidents, and are meant to motivate drivers to stop and remain at the scene to provide aid to injured parties and to take responsibility for the crash.

In general, any person involved in a motor vehicle accident is required to stop, exchange information and render aid. Failure to stop, is considered a hit and run and can have consequences which may include fines or prison time. For hit and run accidents both bodily injury and death are a third degree felony in Pennsylvania. Bodily injury can result in a minimum of 90 days in prison and a fine of $1,000 and a fatality can result in a minimum of one year in jail and a mandatory minimum fine of $2500.

Recent fatality in Pennsylvania

According to NBC10 Philadelphia, in January 2013, the driver of a tractor trailer struck a man walking on the shoulder of the freeway. The driver fled the scene of the accident and did not render aid. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene. Police later found the tractor trailer in New Jersey and had it towed back to Philadelphia where it could be examined. The driver surrendered to police and was later arrested and charged.

What to do to avoid being the victim of a hit-and-run

Car crashes often happen so quickly that it may be difficult to remember details of what happened and how, but if possible, people involved in a car accident should attempt to gather as much information as they can to help avoid being a hit-and-run victim. People should do the following immediately after an accident:

  • Determine if anyone is injured
  • Call 911
  • Take pictures of the car, license plate, and scene of the accident
  • Gather contact and accident information from any witnesses
  • Report the car accident to insurance

It is important to document as many details as possible regarding how the accident happened, and the resulting damage and injuries suffered. All information that is recorded may be crucial when reporting the accident to the police and may aid in finding the driver if they have left the scene of the accident.

Anyone who has been involved in a hit-and-run car crash should speak with an attorney to assist in seeking compensation for personal injuries or property damage. An experienced attorney can help victims to recoup losses from the driver who caused the accident, and hold them accountable for any damage and injuries that may have resulted.

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