Leaving the scene of an accident is illegal. When a driver leaves the scene without exchanging information with the other driver, it is known as “hit and run.” All states have laws that address leaving the scene of an accident.
In California, penalties can include fines, suspended driver’s license and jail time. These penalties are a result of being charged with a misdemeanor or felony. Knowing that information, it’s hard to understand why some drivers flee the scene of a wreck — but it usually has to do with the fact that they’re more worried about the present situation than the possibility of being caught.
Common reasons drivers hit and run
There are some basic reasons why some drivers are tempted to leave the scene without exchanging information. Let’s take a closer look:
- They’re uninsured or underinsured: When a driver doesn’t have insurance, or their coverage is insufficient, a driver may be tempted to flee the scene of the accident.
- They’re intoxicated: When a driver is intoxicated with drugs or alcohol, they often attempt to leave the scene. Because their mind is under the influence, they are often scared, confused and sometimes not even aware that they were in an accident.
- They’re just afraid: Drivers of company vehicles are scared that they will lose their job. Someone driving a borrowed vehicle is scared to tell their friend that they had an accident. Underage drivers often fear telling their parents. Commercial drivers fear losing their driver’s license, and their job.
In addition to getting medical attention and calling the police, now is a good time to consider seeking legal counsel if injured in a hit-and-run accident. An advocate that is experienced in personal injury cases may be best equipped to protect your rights.