When a Civil Case Becomes Criminal: Why you should never flee the scene

Posted by on Aug 11, 2017 in Auto Accidents | 0 comments

When you’re involved in an accident that leads to an injury, the injured party may seek compensation for the injuries they’ve suffered. In most cases, this will happen within or before a civil court, where the settlement agreed upon is meant to cover the amount the injured party needs to recover. This may include hospital bills, the amount for physical therapy in the future, the lost wages while the injured party was healing, and can even include non-monetary amounts like pain and suffering. This is the method through which the injured party, or the party not responsible for the accident, are not left unjustly saddled with the expenses of an accident that they didn’t cause. In most cases, if you’re the party at fault, this will be simple negotiations with your attorneys or insurance company. It’s no fun, of course, but a civil suit is meant to be to the benefit of someone who was not at fault.

Unfortunately, things can always be worse, like in the case of the driver of an SUV who caused serious injuries to a motorcyclist while pulling out of a driveway. As reported by Fox59, the SUV driver then fled the scene. The story doesn’t end well for either party of this accident. The motorcyclist is faced with injuries to his leg, and the driver of the SUV was searched for and found by the police, who arrested him on suspicions of driving while intoxicated on top of fleeing the scene of a crash leading to a serious personal injury. Now, the driver faces more than a simple civil suit: he will be taken to the court on criminal charges. A criminal case results in fines to the city and, should the motorcyclist choose to hire a team of attorneys like the Hankey Law Office P.C., there will be more compensatory fines to pay out later.

When involved in an accident, it’s in everyone’s best interest to talk to the police first. A rash decision like leaving the scene can leave everyone in even more trouble than is worth. A police report can record the fault of the drivers and is a good reference for everyone involved in a civil court case. It is just another piece of evidence. Personal injury attorneys will encourage their potential clients to call the police in all and any cases of an accident—large and small—for this very reason.

The criminal charges for fleeing the scene of a crash could’ve been avoided, had the driver who caused the accident just stayed on the scene. Now, instead of the simple civil court case that would have occurred, the driver of the SUV is forced to go through a criminal court case, and the chances of the motorcyclist receiving the full amount of compensation he is owed will have decreased. All-in-all this is a losing situation for everyone involved.

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