Criminal Consequences of Car Accidents

Many types of accidents can happen on the road, from fender benders to serious collisions. In 2010, there were an estimated 5,419,000 motor vehicle crashes, killing 32,885 and injuring 2,239,000 across the United States. The consequences for the parties involved can be devastating. Medical treatment expenses, an increase in insurance premiums, and the stress of car repair are just a few of the things that can be the result of a car crash. Often, when people consider the legalities of accidents they only think about hiring a lawyer to get a settlement and fail to consider the criminal consequences of accidents. Here are a few;

Hit and Run– If you’re involved in an accident, whether pedestrian or car, it’s the law to stop at the scene. If you are involved in an accident and leave the scene, you can be charged with a hit and run.

Vehicular Manslaughter- If you hit and kill a pedestrian, you may be charged in a criminal court with vehicular manslaughter, even if you are not at fault. For example, the pedestrian may have darted into traffic but if the prosecution can prove that you were operating a vehicle in an extremely reckless manner, like excessive speeding or texting while driving, then you can be charged with vehicular manslaughter.

DUI- Even if you are involved in an accident when you are not at fault, you can be charged with a DUI if you are found to be intoxicated at the time of the accident.

Reckless driving- This type of driving is a criminal offense. The meaning of this charge is widely open to the police.  But a good example of reckless driving is someone who goes 80 MPH in a school zone or is weaving in and out of traffic. Sometimes, when a driver causes an accident by acting in a way that puts lives and property at risk, they can be charged with reckless driving.

DMV and Insurance Points- If you are involved in a car accident, you can get points in two different ways.  If you are issued a ticket and you do not get it dismissed, then you can get DMV and insurance points as well as getting additional insurance points for a claim being paid.

If you’re involved in a car accident where there is only property damage, consulting with an attorney may not be necessary. If you are involved in an accident where someone has been hurt or criminal charges have been brought, consulting with an attorney may be imperative. The criminal consequences of a car accident could change your life and the attorneys at Merritt Webb are here to help.

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