What is a Hit and Run?

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No one wants to be in a car accident, especially where the guilty party hits the road and speeds away from the scene. This incident has a specific name, but not everyone knows the label of this damage type.

A hit-and-run is a case where a motor vehicle runs into a person, object, another car, or anything else living and drives away before providing any information or insurance details. They do not stop after the incident and may refuse to take responsibility for what they did.

If you’re interested in learning more about a hit-and-run, read on. It’s a good idea to know more about this incident type if you are ever involved in an accident and need to act to defend yourself and seek compensation.

What Is A Hit-And-Run?

The definition of a hit-and-run is a person in a motor vehicle running into a person or property and driving away. They do not stop to see if everyone is okay and do not offer their insurance information so the victim can receive compensation for their harm. They actively leave the scene and avoid speaking to the person impacted by the situation.

In a hit-and-run, the person involved may slam into one of the following:

  • Person
  • Object
  • Car

Anything alive or legal property can be the victim in a hit-and-run and will earn the person extensive reparations due to the harm caused.

Hit and runs are unfortunate and may cause a lot of damage to the victim without any chance at further assistance, thanks to the fleeing of the criminal. The best thing you can do in a hit-and-run is to grab the license plate number to help the police determine who is responsible.

What Are Examples Of A Hit-And-Run?

There are many variations in hit-and-run cases, but the basic idea is that they are cases where a person or property is damaged and there is no insurance information or communication for the victim to receive compensation.

A few examples of a hit-and-run include the following:

  • A driver slamming into people crossing the street and then speeding away without looking back
  • A driver hitting a car parked in a lot, causing damage, then driving away without considering the other person
  • A driver bumping a car on the road and causing significant damage, then speeding away without stopping to leave insurance information with the other driver

Each is different but still falls under the category of hit-and-run, even though they are all different.

If you are hit, and a person doesn’t stop to give you the proper information to receive finances for your damages, it’s a hit-and-run. Act as soon as possible to ensure the police have time to contact the perpetrator. They will take care of the basics, and you can hire a lawyer to move into the next phase of the legal process.

What Is The Punishment For A Hit-And-Run?

A hit-and-run is a serious crime, and there are extensive punishments. If you are the perpetrator of a hit-and-run, you could be subject to state law depending on where the hit-and-run occurred. Some rebukes involve money, while others may include time behind bars.

Common punishments include the following:

  • Fines
  • Incarceration for up to five years
  • Revocation of license

The punishment will depend on what is hit and how much money damages cost to repair.

Each state offers different consequences if you are the perpetrator of a hit-and-run. Some may be more lenient, while others take action against the crime. No matter what state you occupy, it’s always better to remain at the scene instead of running.

Why Do People Hit-And-Run?

One of the most common reasons people flee a scene is because they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. They might have malicious intent with their crime. They could be scared, running away because they are in a state of panic. They might not have a driver’s license and are worried about the responsibility they will hold for the damages.

There are many reasons why people may do a hit-and-run. On the surface, it might seem like a petty and cruel action. However, there are many motivations for individuals fleeing from the scene. Some are terrible, while others are the actions of someone who is just a human being.

Are You Supposed To Chase A Hit-And-Run?

If you are hit by another person and are in a car, it might seem like a good idea to hit the gas and speed after them. However, this action is one of the worst things you could do for yourself. Do not chase after the person who perpetrated the crime in a hit-and-run.

For one, a chase could lead to speeding, which could cause you to get a ticket. The perpetrator could also be violent, leading to further destruction. If you are injured, you could crash, and a high-speed chase will put others in harm’s way. Stay behind instead and get as much information for the authorities.

What Should You Do If You’re The Victim Of A Hit-And-Run?

If you are the victim of a hit-and-run, it’s easy to freeze and panic. It’s a scary incident, after all. However, there are some steps you should take right after it happens to ensure you get compensation and remain safe.

If you are the victim of a hit-and-run, you should:

  • Call the police to report the incident
  • Take pictures and document the scene
  • Care for any injuries and get to a safe place
  • Contact or speak to witnesses
  • Take legal action

These steps will keep you safe and ensure you are compensated for the crash.

It’s tempting to give up if you’re the victim of a hit-and-run, but it’s critical to act immediately. The better you care for yourself, and the more information you gather, the easier it will be to recover.

What Should You Do If You Hit A Person Or Animal?

If you hit a living thing with your car, it’s critical to pull over right away. Although it might seem tempting to flee the scene, do not give in to that instinct. It will only make matters worse for you.

Once you pull over, you should:

  • Contact the police and an ambulance
  • Check for injuries
  • Help where possible
  • Gather insurance information depending on the injury

Ensure everyone is off the road as quickly as possible.

Hitting a person is far more serious than hitting a dog. However, no matter what type of living thing you hit, always pull over and stop the car.

What Should You Do If You Hit A Car Or Property?

If you hit a car or property, do not flee the scene. As with hitting a living thing, it’s never better to run away. Always remain and assess damage and injuries if applicable.

Leave a note or call the police after the hit. Then, speak to any witnesses about the incident.

Inform your insurance of the situation and contact your attorney as soon as possible to prepare for a legal battle. Again, do not flee the scene.

Reference Legal Explanations

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  • "What is a Hit and Run?". Legal Explanations. Accessed on June 13, 2024. https://legal-explanations.com/blog/what-is-a-hit-and-run/.

  • "What is a Hit and Run?". Legal Explanations, https://legal-explanations.com/blog/what-is-a-hit-and-run/. Accessed 13 June, 2024

  • What is a Hit and Run?. Legal Explanations. Retrieved from https://legal-explanations.com/blog/what-is-a-hit-and-run/.