Being involved in a car accident can be a scary thing. It may be tempting, in the aftermath of a crash, to flee. However, motorists in Virginia who cause a car crash have certain legal responsibilities, and could be criminally charged if they flee, resulting in a hit-and-run crash.
Under Virginia law, when a motorist is involved in a collision that causes property damage, causes another individual to suffer injuries or causes the death of another individual, that motorist must stay at the scene of the traffic accident and contact the police. The motorist must provide police with certain information, including their name, vehicle registration number and driver’s license number. The motorist must also provide this information to the injured individual if that individual is able to comprehend and remember the information. If the accident caused property damage, this information must be provided to the custodian of the damaged property.
If an individual is injured in the crash, the motorist responsible for the crash must render reasonable aid to that individual, including seeking medical treatment for the injured individual if necessary or asked to. If the motorist responsible for the crash is also injured and cannot help other individuals seek medical attention, the motorist must notify the police as soon as he or she can. Following that, the responsible motorist must make a reasonable effort to find the individual who was injured or another person who may have occupied the victim’s vehicle or the custodian of the damaged property, and provide that individual with his or her name, address, vehicle registration number and driver’s license number.
As this shows, if a motorist causes a crash, they have legal obligations to stay at the scene of the accident and seek aid if possible. If the crash causes more than $1,000 in property damage, or if the crash injures or kills another individual and the responsible motorist flees, it is a Class 5 felony. However, if there are no injuries or fatalities and the property damage is less than $1,000, it is a Class 1 misdemeanor. In either case fleeing the scene of the crash or otherwise causing a hit-and-run accident can be a criminal offense. If a person is criminally charged with such a traffic offense, he or she will want to seek the assistance needed to fight such charges so that a fair and appropriate outcome to their case can be reached.