Hit and Run Accidents
March 16th, 2018
In regular motor vehicle accidents, it is necessary to prove that one of the drivers was at fault. For example, the victim of a rear end accident has to show that the other driver was speeding, texting, or perhaps intoxicated. This would prove that the other driver was at fault for the accident and should be liable for the damages and injuries sustained. However, hit and run accidents are a little different. The definition of a hit and run generally does not include fault. Rather, a crime is committed when the driver leaves the scene, regardless of whether he or she caused the accident.
According to a Rhode Island criminal defense attorney, Rhode Island hit and run laws require that the driver of a vehicle that has knowingly been involved in a car crash or other accident that causes property damage, injury, or death must stop their vehicle at the scene of the accident. Additionally, under Rhode Island law, if no one was injured during a hit and run accident, the person who fled will generally be charged with a misdemeanor. However, even when there is only property damage, the person charged with a misdemeanor can face additional penalties such as, up to one year in prison, a $500 fine, and loss of a driver’s license for six months. Hit and run accidents that involve injuries may result in a felony charge and more severe penalties.
How To Report A Hit And Run Accident
After you are involved in a hit and run accident, you need to gather as much information as you can. For example, you should try and get the make, model, and license plate number of the vehicle that hit you. Additionally, you want to look around for possible witnesses so that they can help corroborate your story. The Rhode Island Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) noted that you should always write down the time and location of the accident, take pictures of the accident scene, and take pictures of your damaged vehicle.
After gathering all the important information, you should go to the nearest police department and file a police report. This will ensure that all the information is valid and the police will be able to assist you in catching the wrongdoer. Additionally, if you do not have the other vehicles information, the best thing to do is file a claim with your own insurance company. Using your insurance will help pay for the property damage and injuries sustained during the accident.
After a hit and run accident, you should never try to confront the other driver. This will cause you to drive recklessly or to get into an unwanted altercation. Additionally, you should never unnecessarily block traffic waiting for the police or wait in your vehicle when it’s stopped in the travel lane. Finally, you should never flee the scene of the accident yourself. Fleeing the scene will only make things worse for you and your potential claim.
Have you been injured in a hit and run accident? If yes, do not hesitate to contact the Bottaro Law Firm for the best legal advice. Our legal team is experienced in hit and run accidents and will fight to get the results you deserve. Remember delay can harm your case. Call or text us at 401-777-7777 or fill out our free online form.