If you are involved in a car accident – and perhaps injured – you know how stressful and traumatic it can be. If the other driver leaves the scene, you may feel even more distressed. You are left alone and definitely in need of help.
A hit and run accident is one in which one of the involved drivers leaves the scene of the accident without providing identification to the police or other involved drivers. These accidents are surprisingly common, comprising about 11% of U.S. car crashes each year (NHTSA).
Drivers who leave the scene often have something to hide, such as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, a poor driving history, or a criminal record.
Responsibilities of Drivers
South Carolina law requires that all drivers involved in an auto accident stop. You must remain at the scene even if you believe that the accident was not your fault. Drivers must provide name, address, and vehicle registration number, as well as driver’s license number if requested.
Drivers must also give aid to anyone who is injured, usually by calling 911 and requesting emergency transport to the hospital.
There are serious penalties for leaving the scene of an accident – a “hit and run” – including heavy fines, possible prison time, and driver’s license suspension.
What To Do If Another Driver Leaves the Accident Scene
- Try to stay calm.
- Call 911 for the police and for medical help.
- Give police accurate descriptions of other involved cars including manufacturer, model, condition, color, and license information.
- Take photos of the damage to your car, your injuries, and the accident scene.
Do not leave the scene yourself. Never try to chase a driver who has left the accident scene, as this may put you in a risky situation.