A common misconception about “hit and run” accidents is that it only involves a vehicle striking a pedestrian, then leaving the scene. Did you know that it actually encompasses much more? Hit and run accidents can cross over into personal injury law, traffic law, and property damage cases. Gordon & Gordon Law Firm is your source for extensive knowledge on all kinds of motor vehicle accidents. Stephen and Daniel have 30 years of combined legal experience in the Ark-La-Tex area.
Below, we’ll walk you through the ins and outs of hit and run accidents, how to beat a charge, and why you need a hit and run attorney. We’ll also focus on hit and runs that the public often doesn’t think about, like hit and runs involving property damage and other vehicles.
What is a Hit and Run?
A hit and run is any situation in which the driver of a vehicle collides with an object, person, or vehicle, and leaves the scene without providing any information.
When you strike something with your vehicle and leave the scene without providing your information, you have committed a hit and run. The object could be a person, a cyclist, or even a piece of property. Legally, you are required to stay on the scene and provide your information.
Hit and run accidents are very serious, and so are their charges. Depending on the accident itself, you could be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony. If the court charges you with a hit and run, you need Gordon & Gordon as your hit and run attorneys.
What Should I Do at the Scene of a Hit and Run?
In the event of a hit and run car accident in Louisiana, the court can charge you even if you were not at fault.
Here’s an example. You’re driving through your neighborhood on your way to work. Another car runs a stop sign and hits you, but your car is not damaged. You drive away without getting out to provide your information. You were clearly not at fault for the car accident, but you have still committed a hit and run.
A court can also charge you for hitting objects like mailboxes or light posts if you don’t stop. There are certain rules you must follow after a car accident:
- Stay on the scene.
- Ask if anyone needs medical attention.
- Provide your identifying information in order to determine fault. This also determines who pays for injuries or damages.
Not stopping to provide your information is how courts charge you with a hit and run. To avoid a charge, you must provide your:
- Driver’s license number.
- Name and contact information.
- Insurance information.
- License plate number.
It’s a good idea to take pictures of the scene, as well as getting the above information from all parties involved. Also be sure to get the information from any witnesses to the scene. Witness statements are essential for determining who’s at fault in a hit and run accident. Our hit and run attorneys at Gordon & Gordon will use all of this information when helping you with your case.
What are the Penalties for a Hit and Run?
Hit and run accidents in Louisiana incur different charges depending on the severity and details of the accident. They can be a misdemeanor or a felony.
Misdemeanor Hit and Run
If no serious injuries occur from the accident, the charge will likely be a misdemeanor. Fines can range from $500 or less, and you could face up to 6 months in jail.
If alcohol or drugs were involved in a Louisiana hit and run, there is both a fine and mandatory jail time.
Felony Hit and Run
If serious bodily harm or death occurs, the accident becomes a felony. Fines can range up to $5000, and there could be a sentence of up to 10 years in prison.
Hit and run accidents are most serious if they meet these conditions:
- Serious injury or death was a result of the accident.
- The driver knew that their vehicle was in the accident, and still left the scene.
- A court convicted the driver of a DWI, vehicular homicide, or vehicular negligent injury in the past.
If these conditions apply to your case, the potential penalties are very steep. You need the experienced car accident lawyers at Gordon & Gordon on your side. Call us at (318)-716-HELP for a consultation.
How Do I Beat the Charge?
With 30 years of combined legal experience, Gordon & Gordon have plenty of defense options for hit and run charges. Below are some defenses that have been successful in the past.
- Emergency Response: If you are involved in the accident while driving to the hospital or other location because of an emergency, you may raise this defense.
- Unaware of the Injury: Sometimes, you may not realize that an accident occurred. This is a more difficult defense to raise, but still a viable option.
- Involuntary Intoxication: This defense is a particularly difficult and unusual one, but it has brought success in the past. If you believe that someone drugged you, and that you were impaired because of it, you can raise this defense.
Keep in mind that any and all evidence you can gather from the scene on your behalf is useful in a hit and run case. It is difficult at times to defend against these charges, but not impossible. If you are decidedly at fault, you can lessen the penalties under the right circumstances.
Why Should I Hire a Hit and Run Attorney?
A hit and run is a very serious offense with very serious consequences. Consult with an accident attorney right away if you are charged. The experienced attorneys at Gordon & Gordon know the law, and are familiar with these types of cases. They can offer you a better chance at reducing charges and avoiding longer jail time.
Contact Gordon & Gordon Law Firm, LLC.
Have you asked yourself “being sued for car accident what can they take?” You probably want to speak to attorneys like Gordon & Gordon. If you or someone you know needs a hit and run attorney, give Gordon & Gordon a call at (318)-716-HELP. You can also submit your request on our website and tell us about your situation.