Hit and run accidents occur in Las Vegas and throughout Nevada each day. Over 1,200 people each year die due to hit and run accidents in the United States alone. Although Nevada employs some of the strictest penalties for this type of offense in the nation, it is still an unfortunate and common occurrence on our roadways. So, what happens when you flee the scene of an accident?
Understanding how to proceed following a car accident, as well as Nevada laws regarding hit and run accidents can help keep you protected in the event you ever find yourself in the situation. Here’s what you need to know if you ever flee the scene of a car accident:
Nevada recognizes fleeing the scene as a hit and run
Nevada Revised Statutes Chapter 484E lists the duties for motorists who are involved a car accident to abide by. It also provides the penalties for a hit and run accident. Your responsibilities after a car accident include:
- Keep your vehicle at the scene.
- Report the accident to the police, even if there are no injuries
- If injuries are minor, move your vehicle out of the way of traffic if you are able to do so safely
- Provide the parties involved with your name, contact information, license, plate, and insurance information if they ask for it
- You must provide the same information to the police in the event they show up to the scene
- If anyone requires medical attention, call an ambulance immediately. If you do not have a phone, ask a witness to call.
Penalties if you flee the scene of an accident
If anyone is injured or killed in the accident and you flee the scene, you are facing a serious felony. Why? It’s a felony to flee the scene even if you’re NOT the one at fault for the accident. The potential penalties you could face in the event you engage in a hit and run include:
- A minimum of 2 years in prison
- A maximum of 20 years in prison
- Probation or conditional parole
- Drivers license suspension
- $2,000 – $5,000 in fines
- Restitution to the victim(s)
If a hit and run involve only property damage, it’s considered a misdemeanor. The maximum possible jail time for this offense is six months, and you face a fine of up to $1,000 and six points on your license.
Fleeing the scene of a single-vehicle accident
If you’re in a crash of only your vehicle, you are still required to contact the police. Even if you flee the scene of a single-vehicle crash, you are still at risk of the penalties associated with a hit and run.
If you are convicted of a hit and run, you will appear before a criminal judge in a court of law. The judge has sentenced hundreds of people and this should not be taken lightly. It is not at all uncommon for a judge to place harsher sentencing on a hit and run driver than any other type of driving offense as it is typically their belief that if you flee from the scene of a crash, you were either intoxicated or under the influence of another substance. It is in your best interest to stay at the scene of the crash, regardless of your excuse!
Fleeing the scene of an accident and personal injury laws
Any type of car accident can result in the need of hiring a lawyer. Nevada requires drivers to act responsibly. If another party acts negligent and their negligence results in injury to you or your property, you are entitled to file charges against them.
That said, if you’re involved in an auto accident, your best chance of recovery and avoidance of facing felony/misdemeanor charges is to stop your vehicle and act responsibly. Whether or not you are directly responsible for the crash, it is in your best interest to retain a Las Vegas car accident lawyer as soon as possible!