The Parrish Law Firm Blog

Legal News & Information Designed To Keep You Safe

What Should I Do After A Hit & Run?

December 17, 2018 by The Parrish Law Firm

A “hit and run” accident is when one leaves the scene of an accident in which they are involved. Hit and runs are considered serious offenses in Virginia and typically result from the failure to offer aid to an injured person or exchange information with the owner of the damaged vehicle after an accident occurs. In Virginia, not only is a driver of a vehicle in an accident required to take action, but any passenger must take certain actions as well. It is important to note that the penalties for hit and runs vary significantly for drivers and passengers. Other variable factors involved with the penalties of a hit and run include whether the vehicle you hit was attended (occupied) or unattended (unoccupied), whether property damage occurred, and the level of injury of all parties involved. Based on these many variables, hit and run charges can vary from misdemeanors to felonies and the penalties can include: fines, a suspended license, and time in prison.

Class 1 Misdemeanor

For Driver

Attended vehicle with $1,000.00 or less of property damage

Unattended vehicle with $250.00 or less of property damage

For Passenger

• Attended vehicle with any property damage

• Unattended vehicle with $250.00 or less of property damage

For Driver and Passenger

• Unattended vehicle with greater than $250.00 of property damage

Class 5 Felony

For Driver

• Attended vehicle with injury, death or greater than $1,000.00 of property damage

Class 6 Felony

For Passenger

• Attended vehicle with injury or death involved

If you are the Driver that hit an attended vehicle you should…

1. Stop as close to the accident as possible without obstructing traffic. You should stop in a safe space.

2. Check for injuries and call 9-1-1 to report these injuries.

3. Provide the police officer with your name, contact information, driver’s license number and vehicle registration number. If the other party involved in the accident is not in an emergency medical situation, share this information with them as well.

4. Provide reasonable assistance to the injured party if it is a medical emergency or if the injured party requests help from you.

Failure to comply with the above steps results in breaking of Virginia Code 46.2-894. If you cannot comply with these steps due to a medical emergency, you must contact the police as soon as you are able and to try to locate the owner of the vehicle or property damaged. If you are convicted due to the accident, you may be required to pay for locality expenses such as costs associated with police, fire and rescue authorities.

Failure to make the above mentioned police report is a Class 4 misdemeanor.

If you hit an unattended vehicle or cause property damage…

You must make a reasonable effort to contact the owner of the vehicle or property and provide the required contact information. If you are unable to find the property owner, you must leave a note with your contact information in a place that the vehicle or property owner will be able to find it. You must also report the incident to the police with your contact information as well as time, place and other important details involved in the vehicle or property damage.

If you are a passenger that is 16 years old or older…

It is your responsibility to ensure that a police report is made within 24 hours of the accident in the case of an attended or unattended vehicle or property related accident.

Your license may be suspended if…

The cost of vehicle or property damage was valued at $500.00 or greater. This applies to both the driver and passenger and your license(s) may be suspended for up to 6 months. In Virginia, if you are convicted of 4 hit and run incidents, your license may be suspended for up to 5 years.

If you have been involved in a hit and run incident, do not make the mistake of…

Trying to represent yourself in court. It is almost always better to contact an experienced car accident and injury attorney. The Parrish Law Firm provides a free, no-cost consultation for these such incidents. Contact us here or at (571) 229 – 1800.

Associations, Memberships & Accolades

Jim Parrish Personal Injury Law Firm Logo
Get in Touch Today (571) 229-1800