S To Take Once You’ve Received The Hit And Run Letter
If you’ve been involved in a hit and run in Miami-Dade County or Broward County, chances are you will receive a letter in the mail from a police agency.
This letter will advise you that your car was involved in an incident of leaving the scene of an accident. Chances are, somebody reported your plate number to the police and an incident report was filed.
Upon receiving the letter you should contact a criminal defense attorney right away. This is a criminal investigation and you do not want to handle matters by yourself.
An attorney can reach out to the detective assigned to your case and possibly resolve the matter before any criminal charges are filed.
There are non-criminal statutes that hit and run detectives can use to charge you with an infraction instead of charging you with a crime.
Leaving the scene of an accident, or LSA, is a misdemeanor unless a person is seriously injured. Then it becomes a felony. If somebody is killed, the crime is punishable by up to 30 years in prison.
Upon receipt of the letter, you should contact a criminal defense lawyer right away BEFORE you try to reach out to the detective yourself. Any statement you make, even over the phone, can be used as evidence against you.
Also, do not attempt to make any repairs to your car. Efforts to repair a car after you’ve left the scene of an accident can only make matters worse. You could even find yourself charged with tampering with evidence.
Gather Evidence If You Can
This tip applies only if you can follow it safely and without putting yourself or others at risk of harm.
If you can, use your cell phone to take pictures at the scene of any auto accident as soon as possible after it occurs, especially if the other driver has not yet fled the scene.
Try to get images of the other vehicles license plate number, make and model, and any other identifying of it or its driver.
If the hit and run driver left before you had a chance to snap pictures, take photos of any damage, the car accident scene, and its surroundings. Offer all evidence you gather at the scene of the accident to law enforcement for their police report.
Consult With An Attorney
After a hit and run accident, you should deeply consider consulting with an attorney at The Bryant Law Center about your options for compensation. Without the help of an attorney, you are left to your own devices for pursuing your claim.
An attorney will be able to provide legal advice, help you compile information about the hit and run, aid law enforcement in their investigation on your behalf, and will help you put together your case based upon your unique circumstances.
No one should have to face down the uncertainty of pursuing a hit and run claim without a lawyers help. An attorney can help you maximize your compensation for your injuries and any damages. They will be able to advise you throughout the entire process whether that means dealing with the police, insurance companies, or the responsible party.
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Recovering Through An Insurance Claim
If the police find the hit-and-run driver, he or she will be responsible for paying for victims damages. If not, the victim may be able to seek compensation through his or her automobile insurance policy. Uninsured and underinsured motorist insurance covers medical bills and property damages after hit-and-run accidents. Drivers with damages from a hit-and-run should call their insurance companies to see if filing a claim is possible. If not, the only other option for coverage may be a third-party claim. A hit and run accident lawyer in California can help hit-and-run victims investigate their crashes and identify outlets for financial recovery.
What Should I Do If I Hit An Animal
It’s always distressing, but if you hit the following animals, the Road Traffic Act 1988 says you must notify the police. Not to do so is a criminal offence.
- Dog, donkey or mule, horse, goat, pig, sheep or cow.
Cats and dogs
- If you’re aware you’ve hit a dog or a cat, stop if it’s safe to do so.
- Move the animal to a safe place, if it can be moved.
- Keep it warm with a blanket or coat if you have one.
- If it has a collar tag, call the owner and take it to them or the nearest vet, if possible.
- If it’s a dog, make sure you report it to the local police within 24 hours by dialling 101.
- The vet will check to see if a collarless domestic pet has a microchip ID. All dogs must be microchipped by law. Mandatory microchipping for cats is under review.
- If the owners can’t be identified, the vet will usually file a missing pet report with the local council.
- Historically, you don’t need to report hitting a cat to the police.
- However, legislation is now under consideration to correct this so be aware that your legal duty as a road user may change.
If you find yourself with no alternative, report road accidents with proscribed animals to the police immediately and to a local vet or the RSPCA’s emergency service on 0300 1234 999 if they need urgent care.
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Getting Help After A Hit And Run
If you’ve fled the scene of your car accident and are ready to discuss your situation with a legal professional, you might want to start by reaching out to a car accident lawyer in your area. If your case would be better off in the hands of a different kind of an attorney a car accident lawyer can always recommend the right course of action.
Can I Report Accidents Online
Some police forces will allow you to report accidents online. For example, the Metropolitan Police have a report a road traffic incident tool.
You can check your local forces website to see if they offer this.
But if its an emergency for example, if someone is injured or a car is blocking the road you should always call 999.
What Are Common Defenses To Hit And Run
- The accident only caused injury to the defendant.
- One of the elements in defining a hit and run is that there was an injury to another person or thing. This means that if you can prove that the accident only affected the defendant, then you have a good defense.
What Types Of Injury Are Common In A Road Traffic Accident
Car and road traffic accidents can cause a wide range of impact injuries. Most UK police constabularies classify road accident injuries into five categories. The most serious category is fatality, of which there were 1,752 instances in 2019. The others are:
- Slight – covers injuries like neck whiplash, shock, bruising, soft tissue sprains and strains plus shallow cuts, grazing and abrasions.
- Less serious – deep cuts, hand, arm or collarbone fractures plus foot, ankle or lower leg fractures and minor head injuries.
- Moderately serious – chest injuries, deeply penetrating wounds and thigh or pelvis fracture,
- Very serious – broken neck or spine, severe head, chest or crush injury with loss of consciousness or breathing difficulty. Also included are all internal injuries and multiple severe injuries combined with a loss of consciousness.
Motorcycling injuries are often more serious than those sustained in a car or commercial vehicle. It’s also worth pointing out that whiplash, while common, can vary wildly in severity. Bad cases can be very hard to deal with and can take months to heal.
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When Does A Prosecutor Have To Bring Hit And Run Charges
Most jurisdictions say that a person has to be charged for a hit and run case within either:
- one year from the date of the accident, if the crime is charged as a misdemeanor, or
- three years from the date of the accident, if the crime is charged as a felony.
Prosecutors normally bring misdemeanor charges after a hit and run accident if the incident only resulted in property damage. This means the vehicle accident did not produce any type of personal injury.
Felony charges are normally filed if the driver of a motor vehicle fled from a scene of an accident after causing:
- significant property damage,
How Long After A Hit & Run Can You Be Charged In Virginia
In Virginia, the statute of limitations is two years for car accidents that resulted in injury or death. However, damage to a vehicle or property can be pursued for up to five years after the event.
This time period begins on the date of the accident with the exception of scenarios in which an individual dies as a result of the collision. In the event of a related death, the time begins upon that persons death. In these events, you may be charged for a hit and run even after it has occurred.
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How Do Police Conduct A Hit
Just because the hit-and-run driver gets away from the scene, it doesnt mean they get away with the crime. The police have a number of strategies that will help them find the person who committed the hit-and-run.
The police may:
- Canvass the Area. The police can speak to people who were there at the time of the accident, or if the accident happened near a residential area or businesses. Its possible that someone saw something that could helplike an eyewitness to the incident or they remember seeing a car speed off and they could name the make and model of the car.
- Use Surveillance Footage. Its also possible that businesses or private residences have surveillance cameras set up for security purposes. Those cameras may have caught the accident or give police more details about the car the person was driving when they committed the hit-and-run.
- Post Information on Social Media. While its not a good idea for you to personally post about legal matters on social media, the police may release information about the hit-and-run on social media and television to cast a wider net to find anyone who may have seen something or knows something. This outreach could encourage someone to come forward if theyve been unsure or on the fence about coming to the police.
As they gather more information about the accident, they can branch out their investigation and work to find the hit-and-run driver.
What Is The Penalty For Hit And Run Uk
Drivers who dont stop at the scene of an accident or fail to report a reportable accident to police could be charged with leaving the scene of an accident the legal term for a hit and run in the UK. This is a serious conviction with penalties ranging from a fine and penalty endorsement to a disqualification from driving and even imprisonment.
The penalty awarded for a hit and run in the UK usually depends on the severity of the accident and the damage caused. For example, leaving the scene of an accident after scratching another car in a car park will carry a lighter penalty than a hit and run involving a serious injury.
The maximum sentence for leaving the scene of an accident includes:
- The issue of an unlimited fine
- An endorsement of up to 10 penalty points
- Disqualification from driving
- A maximum term of six months imprisonment
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Frequently Asked Questions About Hit And Run Charges
Is leaving the scene of an accident a felony in Pennsylvania?
The answer to this question can depend upon several factors. If no one is injured, the hit and run is a third-degree degree misdemeanour. If there is an injury, the charge is a first-degree misdemeanour. If, however, someone is seriously injured, the crime becomes a felony of the third degree.
What happens when you leave the scene of an accident in PA?
Remember, leaving the scene of an accident PA is a punishable crime. Depending upon the severity of the accident, and your involvement, you can face hefty fines and possibly even jail time.
How long can you go to jail for leaving the scene in PA?
A hit and run is a summary offence. It happens when without providing the required information, a driver leaves the scene of an accident involving damage to another vehicle that is unoccupied. If you are involved in an accident and convicted of such a crime, you will receive a fine of $300, and/or a jail sentence of up to 90 days. For Felonies of the third degree involving serious bodily injury, the mandatory minimum jail penalty is 90 days. If death results, the mandatory minimum penalty is three years in jail.
How long after a hit and run accident can you be charged?
How to get out of a leaving the scene charge?
What Safety Items Should I Keep In My Car Just In Case
If you have a car accident or a breakdown, here are the useful things to keep in your car that will help keep you safe and comfortable. They include:
- Spare jacket, jumper, gloves, socks and boots during bad weather.
- The phone number for your breakdown provider.
- Spare set of lightbulbs in case one blows – plus a torch.
- Ice-scraper and some de-icer spray.
- Bottle of water, long-life snacks, a pen and a pad.
- High visibility vest so you can be seen clearly.
- Two foldaway warning triangles, one for the front of the vehicle and one for the back.
- Simple first aid kit for minor cuts, knocks and bumps.
- Sunglasses to help with harsh low sun in through the late autumn, winter and early spring.
- A spare charging cable and a USB bullet that plugs into the cigarette lighter socket or 12V power point will keep your phone charged.
- UK road atlas just in case you get lost and run out of charge for your device.
- Your vehicle user manual – but keep the service booklet somewhere safe at home. It’s a valuable document and is useful to a criminal if your car is stolen.
- Tyre pressure gauge to make sure your tyres are properly inflated.
Remember to check the wheel-changing kit in your car is complete. It should contain:
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How Long Do I Have To Report A Collision After It Has Happened
Not every road traffic collision needs to be reported to the police. In the case of minor accidents where all involved parties stop to exchange details, no injuries occur and no debris is left behind, you wont usually need to report the accident to the police.
Reportable road traffic collisions should be reported to the police as soon as possible and practical. This should always be within 24 hours and should be done in person at your local police station.
Reportable collisions are those that:
- Involve injuries to people or animals
- Leave behind debris on the road
- Cause risk to other road users
- Where details cannot be exchanged or other parties cannot be identified
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Send us a message or call us on 0333 443 2366 for friendly advice
Victims Of A Hit And Run
If youve been the victim of a hit and run crime, its your responsibility to report it to the police so they can open an investigation.
The information you can provide them with will determine how quickly they can then locate and get in contact with the other driver, so its important to know what to do in the case of an accident if the other driver flees the scene. I know its easier said than done, and in the aftermath of such an unexpected event its completely normal to be disoriented or even in shock if it was a particularly bad crash, but try to remember all you can about the other driver involved. This includes details about their car, the event itself, and any distinguishing features about the driver.
Writing this down so you dont forget it is a good way to help the police identify the perpetrator, which means theyll be able to contact them more quickly so you can get it resolved.
Any bystanders or witnesses and CCTV footage can also be hugely helpful in a hit and run case, as they can provide evidence of the crime that has occurred.In cases where the victim is able to note the car registration number, the police may be able to find the name and address of the perpetrator relatively quickly by entering this information into their police database. This will only prove useful if the offending driver is insured, however, and if the car in question belongs to them.
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How Do I Stop The Police From Calling Me
The easiest thing to do is get a lawyer to intermediate and head them off. Let me talk to them for you.
If you get a phone message from a police officer asking to speak to you about a crime, .
As your attorney, I can call them back and be your intermediary so they wont keep calling you. I can provide any basic factual information that might be appropriate for the situation, or none at all.
I will tell the police that any further contact must be through me, so they can no longer bother you directly.
The harassment will end, immediately. In many cases, the police wont have anything else to go on, and the case will simply be dropped. Or, at a minimum, the police will have to proceed with whatever evidence they already have, and you havent inadvertently given them more information to use against you.
This can ultimately prevent you from being charged at all.