North Carolina’s traffic accident rules may seem obvious to most, but the law requires you to stop if you’ve been in an accident. This is known as a “duty to stop.” Hit-and-runs are illegal in the Tar Heel State.
Suppose you’re in an accident with another vehicle, pedestrian, motorist, or bicyclist. In that case, you must stop your car immediately and remain on the scene until the police arrive; anyone who requires medical attention receives it. Information between all parties has been exchanged.
Unfortunately, more than one hit-and-run accident happens every minute in the United States, so that you might find yourself a victim of one.
What Is A Hit-And-Run?
A hit-and-run offense occurs when one driver fails to stop at the scene of an accident that results in property damage (a house, car, or bicycle) or an injury or death to a person.
What Are The Consequences Of A Hit-And-Run?
Depending on the damage and injuries that the accident causes, a prosecutor can bring varying charges against the fleeing motorist.
Suppose the accident causes property damage or minimal injuries. In that case, the fleeing driver can be charged by North Carolina with a Class 1 Misdemeanor, which carries a potential sentence of up to one year in jail and monetary fines.
If the hit-and-run accident resulted in a severe injury or death of another party, the driver who left the scene could be charged with a Class H felony, face fines, and a potential license suspension. For first-time offenders, you may only serve eight months in jail, but the sentence will increase to up to 25 months in prison if you have any past convictions.
If the accident causes permanent disfigurement or pain, extended hospitalization, or risk of or caused death, the driver may receive a 41-month jail sentence, significant fines, and driver’s license suspension.
What Should I Do If I’ve Been Involved In A Hit-And-Run Accident?
If you’ve been involved in a hit-and-run accident, first and foremost, receive any appropriate medical care. Do not leave the scene and call the police right away. If you see the driver has fled the scene, try to take notes and photos as soon as possible. Anything you can remember while it’s fresh in your mind can be used as evidence later if the driver is found.
Once you’ve recovered from the accident, then contact the Knox Law Center right away. We offer prospective clients complimentary consultations to help you get started on a case. A victory in a hit-and-run case can often win you a monetary award to help pay for any property damage and medical expenses, as well as pain and suffering.