The idea of being in a hit-and-run accident can be terrifying, regardless of which end you’re on. If you’re the victim, your property is hit, or you’re the perpetrator, hit-and-run accidents are scary, but it’s important to remember, if you’re the one who hits a person or property, it doesn’t have to turn into a hit-and-run.

The following are some general things to know about hit-and-run accidents, including what they are, what you should do if you’re the victim, and laws about these accidents.

What is a Hit-and-Run?

We do often think of the most dramatic instances and circumstances when we initially think of hit-and-runs. For example, you might think of someone running a red light and hitting a pedestrian, and this is the most severe type of a hit-and-run.

That’s fairly rare, however.

What’s more common is to hit an object and leave the scene—such as hitting a mailbox or another car. In these instances, there is no bodily injury, but it’s still illegal.

Anytime you hit something in a motor vehicle without leaving your information, and then leave the scene, it’s considered a hit-and-run. However, if there is no one around you leave your information and then file a police report, it wouldn’t be considered a hit-and-run, even though you leave before you talk to someone.

What If You Hit Something in a Parking Lot?

One of the most common ways a hit-and-run occurs is in a parking lot or area where there are other cars, but their drivers aren’t around. In these cases, what should you do to avoid hit-and-run charges?

First, you should stop and take a look at the damage. Make sure you don’t spot the owner or can’t find them anywhere, and then take pictures of the damage and the entire scene. Write down the license plate, make and model of the car or if it’s property, the address and location.

Add a note to what you damaged with your name, contact information and license plate number, and file a police report. It may be wise to file a report with your insurance provider as well.

What If You Leave the Scene?

If you do leave the scene of any kind of hit-and-run accident, the criminal penalties vary depending on the state where you live. In some cases, it can be a misdemeanor or a felony, and it usually depends on the specific circumstances.

A felony hit and run is usually what someone is charged with if there is bodily injury to another person. This includes if the person is a pedestrian, or they’re in a vehicle. In USA, if a driver hits someone who’s a pedestrian or who’s in a car and leaves the scene, the felony charge can include a fine ranging from USD5,000 to USD20,000 depending on the state, and there is also the potential for jail time.

Many hit-and-runs involving bodily injury can be punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

Even with a misdemeanor, while it sounds less severe than a felony, there can be a fine of up to USD5,000 and up to a year in jail.

What Should You Do If You Hit Someone?

If you hit a pedestrian, it can be terrifying. For many people, it’s a nightmare-like situation, but there are a right and a wrong way to handle it. First, never leave. Leaving is the worst thing you can do.

You should try to stay calm, and stay with the person at the scene. Call police emergency numbers and then wait for the police.

If you do hit someone and leave or don’t take action and it leads to more severe injuries for the victim, the charges can be worse as well. For example, it could lead to a vehicular manslaughter charge. If you are the cause of an injury, you are required to help the person if you can.

If you temporarily leave the scene to get help but then return, typically it’s not considered a hit-and-run.

Finally, another situation you may wonder about is hitting an animal. If you hit an animal and don’t stop, unless it’s a bird or a small wild animal, and you don’t stop most states will consider it a hit-and-run. This can be especially true if you hit a pet, and charges can include animal cruelty or failure to report. In California, as an example, hitting a pet, horse or livestock animal without stopping and reporting it is a misdemeanor. Pets are considered property in California, and some other states.


Feel free to ask questions, send feedback and even point out mistakes. Great conversations start with just a single word. How to write better comments?
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

You May Also Like
games ideas.jpg
Read More

2014 – Most Googled Games in Indian States

The folks from coupon sharing website CouponDaddy.in have created an interesting infographic featuring the list of games that were Googled most in different states of the country. The image below is the result of their statistical analysis of Google Search by Indian users for gaming specific keywords. It enlists 33 games from 33 Indian states & union territories. See which…
dangerous rail
Read More

10 Most Dangerous Railroads in the World

It is so fun and enjoyable to travel through rail routes. Most of the people love to travel through rails instead of preferring to travel through the car. Travelling through rail is a good experience along with watching the beauty of nature and different sceneries when you travel long distances. Many of the people believe that it is safe to…
aboutmesection
Read More

Seven years on WordPress.com

5  7 years on WordPress.com, is something extraordinary for a hopper like me! Just saw a notification on the admin bar (which’s solely powered by Jetpack – a child of WordPress.com) that I have reached another milestone with WordPress.com blogging platform. Started on 13th September 2010 – my journey with WordPress.com & Automattic, has completed its fifth year. Wonderful, enriching…
rip gaurav tiwari
Read More

Rest in Peace, Gaurav Tiwari!

I pay my tribute to Gaurav Tiwari, the famous paranormal activist, researcher and TV artist. He was found dead at his home in Dwarka, Delhi. I pay my condolences to his family and pray the God to keep them strong in these moments of sorrow and pain.
Read More

How do they make Viking Drinking Horns?

Viking drinking horns are no longer a thing of the past. Though most people still reach for regular cups, glasses, or mugs when they need to drink, a lot of people are also interested in using unconventional drinking vessels. Drinking horns were widely used in ancient times. It supposedly began with the Scythians, who carried on through the Middle Ages.…
That Old Latern
Read More

I am not the Ghost Hunter.

  I am mohan kattimani. I lived navi-mumbai. sanpada yesterday i join in ppi course and i submitted in course fees 40,000 (21-8-2014)and my scan copy. i let he no when i started  in this course.i like work in grip team. i hope future we work in together ghost hunting. my cell no {redacted}. please sir when you have time reply…