There Seems To Be An Epidemic In Philadelphia Of People Leaving The Scene Of A Car Accident - Experienced Car Accident Attorney Weighs In
Over the last few months, the experienced Philadelphia car accident attorneys of Reiff & Bily have received much more than the normal amount of calls involving people leaving the scene of a car accident after they struck a pedestrian or another vehicle.
Last Saturday night, two people were struck when a car came onto the pavement and struck them from behind as they were walking home after a Saturday evening date. The driver got out of his car and then got back in and took off leaving the injured pedestrians to fend for themselves. Unfortunately none of the victims owned a motor vehicle and had no other health insurance.
Leaving the scene of an accident is commonly referred to as a hit and run accident. The penalties depend on the seriousness of the damage or injuries. Pennsylvania’s motor vehicle code treats accidents involving unattended vehicles, i.e. one’s without drivers or occupants as the least serious. The level of punishment escalates to a more serious offense when the other vehicle is occupied or a pedestrian is hit and injured. A hit and run car accident involving personal injury or death can receive a high level of punishment which may include a first degree misdemeanor punishable by up to five years in prison or if the victim suffers a serious bodily injury, the offender can be charged with a third degree felony carrying a mandatory minimum prison sentence of 90 days and a maximum sentence of up to 7 years and a minimum fine of $2,500. If the victim dies, the offense may still be classified as a third degree felony but the mandatory minimum sentence would be one year. It is also important to know that conviction for any of these offenses could result in suspension of a driver’s license.