When a vehicle driven by an individual who is following the rules of the road is struck by another vehicle, it can be infuriating. When the second vehicle fails to stop and leaves the scene of the accident it adds insult in injury. In addition to morally being the right thing to do following a collision, legally, drivers involved in crashes must stop as soon as it is safe for them to do so. This is true regardless of whether the vehicle struck was occupied at the time of the crash.
The requirement that vehicles stop following a crash is necessary for several reasons.
First, in cases where all vehicles involved are occupied, the requirement makes it possible for all involved to share information pertaining to identification, contact and insurance. This likely makes it easier to deal with any property damage that may have occurred.
In situations where the collision results in injury to someone, the requirement that a driver stop following a car accident could play an even bigger role. It is possible that person’s aid could be the difference between life and death.
The failure to follow Wisconsin’s laws regarding leaving the scene of an accident could result in serious consequences. Depending on the situation, for example if another person is killed in the incident, it is possible that the individual could face the criminal charge of felony hit and run. If found guilty of that criminal charge, the penalty handed down to the driver could be the loss of freedom. In less serious situations, a traffic ticket could be the penalty.
A personal injury lawsuit could also be filed against that driver by the injured person or in the case of death, his or her loved ones. For the best chance of success in one of these cases it is a good idea to work with a lawyer.
Source: FindLaw, “Leaving the Scene of an Accident/Hit and Run,” Accessed Sept. 12, 2014