When a vehicle collides with another vehicle, person, or other property (including a pet), the driver is required by Louisiana vehicle code RS 14:100 to stop and provide certain information. If a person is injured, the driver is required to provide reasonable aid to them. Sometimes, however, drivers leave the scene of an accident—perhaps they panicked and weren’t thinking straight or felt they couldn’t afford the consequences—especially if they thought there were no witnesses. Though you may temporarily avoid the consequences of a car accident or personal injury claim, the consequences of a hit-and-run accident are much more severe. Whatever the reason someone leaves an accident scene, they may face stiff fines, suspension or loss of their driver’s license, criminal prosecution, and potential imprisonment.
Meanwhile, the victim of the accident, whether it was a pedestrian accident in Shreveport or a hit-and-run car accident in Mansfield, may still be eligible to recover damages for their injuries, losses, and any pain and suffering that results.
Hit And Run Louisiana Vehicle Code Law—Statute RS 14:100
Louisiana Vehicle Code RS 14:100 defines hit-and-run as the following:
“Hit and run driving is the intentional failure of the driver of a vehicle involved in or causing an accident, to stop such vehicle at the scene of the accident, to give his identity, and to render reasonable aid.”
Even if there were no victims present but you struck an empty, parked car or other type of property, you are required by law to provide a written notice placed conspicuously on the vehicle with a description of what happened and your name and contact information. Though this is a non-injury car accident, it is still considered a hit and run in Louisiana.
However, if you hit a pet, of which is also considered “property”, and you can’t locate an owner, you must notify the local police or Louisiana Highway Patrol, depending on where the accident occurred.
A driver must fulfill all these legal requirements regardless of how or why the accident happened.
Hit-And-Run Law Defined: Leaving the Scene of an Accident
There are two types of hit-and-run crimes in Louisiana—accidents involving only damage to property and accidents that cause injury or wrongful death. We will cover the penalties for each of these below:
Hit and Run Penalty Louisiana
- Where there is no death or serious bodily injury, a driver shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars or imprisoned for not more than six months, or both.
- When there is evidence that a vehicle operator consumed alcohol or used drugs or another controlled substance prior to the accident, they may be fined up to $500, jailed for not less than ten days and no more than six months.
- When death or serious bodily injury is caused, and a driver knows or should have known that it did, they will be fined up to $5,000 and potentially imprisoned with or without hard labor for up to ten years if they flee the scene.
- A combination of the above conditions may result in imprisonment for not less than five years nor more than 20 years with or without hard labor.
Hit and Run Criminal and Personal Injury Attorney
If you fled from an accident and may face charges and/or a civil lawsuit, or if you’ve been the victim of a hit-and-run and seek compensation for the damages that it caused, it is imperative that you seek a Louisiana hit and run attorney as soon as possible. A criminal defense attorney can help defend against these charges, while your Shreveport personal injury attorney can help you pursue damages for your injuries. For more information about hit-and-run accidents, call Gordon & Gordon at 318-716-HELP, or schedule a consultation at any of their conveniently located Shreveport, Mansfield, or Bossier City law offices. You don’t have to wait for office hours, our Louisiana car accident attorneys are available 24/7 and are ready to listen to the specifics of your case.