Chris Hammons | November 10, 2023 | Car Accidents
Unfortunately, hit-and-run accidents are all too common. Drivers flee the scenes of accidents for a variety of reasons, ranging from not having a valid license or insurance to being under the influence of drugs or alcohol, leaving victims grasping at straws over how to respond. Keep reading to learn more about what constitutes a hit and run, the consequences for offenders, and how our expert lawyers at Laird Hammons Laird can help you navigate the aftermath as a victim.
What is considered to be a hit and run in Oklahoma?
A hit and run occurs when a driver of a vehicle is involved in a collision with another vehicle, property, or human being, and knowingly fails to stop to give his/her name, license number, and other information as required by statute to the injured party, a witness, or law enforcement officers. In Oklahoma, 47 O.S. §10-104 clearly establishes a motorist’s duty to provide adequate personal information and aid when involved in an accident. And according to 47 O.S. §10-103, failure to adhere to these requirements can result in criminal charges.
What are the consequences of committing a hit and run?
The consequences for a hit and run vary, depending on the outcome of the accident, such as if it results in property damage, injuries, fatalities, or a combination of the three.
- A hit and run that causes vehicle damage but no injuries is classified as a misdemeanor with a $500 fine and/or up to one year in county jail.
- If a non-fatal injury occurs and the driver flees the scene of the accident, it is considered a felony, according to 47 O.S. §10-102. The penalties are either a fine of up to $1,000 and/or a prison sentence of up to two years.
- If a hit-and-run driver leaves the scene and a death occurs, it is classified as a felony that carries a fine of up to $10,000 and/or up to 10 years in prison, according to 47 O.S. §10-102.1.
In addition to the criminal penalties described above, hit-and-run drivers may also pay three times the actual value of the damage through a civil action, outlined in 47 O.S. §10-103.
What should I do when a driver leaves the scene of a car accident?
In the aftermath of a hit and run, there are a few steps you should take.
- Resist the urge to chase after the other driver. Instead, contact the police immediately and provide as much information as you can, such as the license plate number or the make and model of the car.
- Seek medical care — even if you don’t think you need it. In the wake of a crash, the adrenaline is often so intense that you won’t feel the true impact until later. Receiving a medical examination also creates a vital paper trail that can serve as ammunition in a potential battle with insurance companies down the line.
- Report the incident to your own insurance company. This will ensure that you comply with all necessary protocol, and if the worst case scenario unfolds — that the authorities never track down the perpetrator — you’ll be entitled to compensation from your policy’s uninsured motorist provision.
Have you been injured by a hit-and-run driver in Oklahoma?
Although you can go it alone, at LHL, we believe you shouldn’t have to. Our experienced legal team of car accident lawyers will be able to bypass all of the frustrating red tape to work directly with eyewitnesses and law enforcement to locate the at-fault driver. If we track the driver down, we’ll build a case that’s expertly designed to win compensation for:
- property damage
- medical bills
- pain and suffering
- other miscellaneous expenses
We can also ensure that you receive fair compensation from your own insurance company if we are unable to find the driver.
After a hit and run, time is of the essence, and you shouldn’t have to wait too long to receive the compensation you deserve. Contact us for a free, 100% confidential consultation today to learn how we can help you navigate this overwhelming time and get back on your feet again.
Contact Our OKC Car Accident Lawyers at Laird Hammons Laird Trial Lawyers for a Free Consultation
For more information, please contact an experienced Oklahoma City car accident lawyer at Laird Hammons Laird Personal Injury Lawyers to schedule a free initial consultation today. Our law office is located in Oklahoma City.
We proudly serve Oklahoma County, OK and its surrounding areas: