Why You Shouldn’t Leave the Scene of a Car Accident

two cars speeding past each other

The Legal Issues with Leaving a Scene

No matter how old you are, being involved in a car accident can be a scary and adrenaline-filled moment in your life. If you're a young or inexperienced driver, you may be unaware of the road rules when it comes to leaving the scene after an accident. Here are two things you should remember.

1. Leaving the Scene of an Accident is Against the Law

Under Missouri state law, leaving the scene of an accident that resulted in an injury, property damage, or fatality can come with severe consequences. In these instances, the driver (if able) has a responsibility to alert law enforcement to the scene. If an officer is not in the vicinity or cannot come to the crash site, you must report the accident to the nearest law enforcement agency.

2. You Can Be Charged with a Felony in Some Cases

Charges associated with leaving the scene of an accident could range from, at a base level, a class A misdemeanor to a class D felony if a fatality occurred. However, class E felonies are also common if:

  • One party was physically injured.
  • Property damage totaled more than $1000.
  • The defendant was a repeat offender.

Here are the penalties associated with such charges:

  • Class A misdemeanor: up to one year in jail and a fine of $2000 or less.
  • Class D felony: up to seven years in state prison.
  • Class E felony: up to four years in state prison.
  • Ultimately, leaving the scene of an accident can do more harm than good. Regardless of the penalties and charges one could face, the implications of these kinds of accidents can have devastating effects on the lives of victims and their loved ones.

Recovering from an Accident? We Can Help

Your recovery matters to us, and at Kolker Law Firm, we will fight for your right to receive maximum compensation for injuries sustained in a hit and run accident. If you are looking to get started on your case, call (314) 684-8285 or fill out the form on our website to get started.

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