In Alabama, a hit-and-run is a punishable crime that comes with very serious penalties. For injured victims, hit-and-run accidents are especially frightening. The driver of the struck car is left to take care of medical bills, car repairs, and other related expenses. Often, the aftermath effects of hit-and-run accidents are long-term.
Our personal injury attorneys at the law offices of Norris Injury Lawyers are dedicated to helping accident victims navigate the legal system. We know how to build and defend successful claims to get you the compensation you deserve.
With over 40 years of experience and a powerful record of success fighting for the rights of our clients, we welcome the opportunity to help you fight for your rights. Contact us now at 800-477-7510 or here on our website for a free case evaluation.
What is the Penalty for a Hit-and-Run in Alabama?
In Alabama state law, a hit-and-run occurs when a driver leaves the scene of the accident without providing any contact information or helping anyone who was injured. The penalties for leaving the scene of an accident where there is injury or death are much more severe than for property damage only.
Different circumstances determine whether the driver is charged with a misdemeanor or a felony. For example, if the driver leaves but no one was injured, he or she may be charged with a misdemeanor. If he or she leaves without helping the injured, it may be considered a felony crime.
Possible penalties include:
- If you are convicted of hit-and-run in Alabama, you could face up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000; you could also have your driver’s license suspended
- If the hit-and-run resulted in injury or death or the driver did not stop at the scene of the accident, the driver can be charged with a felony
A qualified lawyer can help you understand your legal options if you are involved in a hit-and-run. The best way to avoid any penalties for a hit-and-run is to always stop at the scene of a car accident, no matter the circumstances.
When Should You Report a Hit-and-Run Accident?
If you are involved in a hit-and-run accident in Alabama, it’s important to stop immediately and report the incident to law enforcement. Notify the police and give them a truthful statement about what happened.
By doing so, you may avoid potential penalties and help ensure that justice is served. Failing to report the accident could worsen your situation. The possible penalties include fines and jail time.
Steps to Take If You Are Involved in a Hit-and-Run in Alabama
If you are involved in a hit-and-run accident in Alabama, there are a few steps you should take to ensure that your rights are protected. Here are helpful tips to follow after an accident.
Stop immediately, as soon as it is safe to do so. You should move your vehicle from the roadway to the shoulder only if there is no death or injury as a result of the accident. If the accident resulted in death, do not move the vehicle unless you have been instructed to do so by the police or emergency response personnel.
Do not leave the scene. It is either a felony or misdemeanor to leave the scene of an accident in the State of Alabama. Even if you feel you may be at fault and worry about facing serious consequences, leaving without exchanging contact information will only make your situation much worse.
Alabama law requires you to leave your contact information with the other party and provide a reasonable amount of assistance to all involved in the crash. Following through on this may reduce the possibility of criminal charges if there was no intoxication, negligence, or reckless driving on your part.
Call the police and file a report. This will help to document the incident and also give you a solid reference point should you need to file an insurance claim.
Be sure to collect contact information from the other driver as well. When you have an accident, it’s important to get photos of both your car and the car of the other driver. These photos can be used as evidence if you decide to pursue legal action against the other driver.
Why Do People Flee the Scene After a Hit-and-Run Accident?
There are many reasons why people might flee the scene after a hit-and-run accident. He or she may be scared, intoxicated, or simply unaware that someone was hit. Whatever the reason, the consequences for leaving the scene of an accident can include jail time, fines, and the suspension of your driver’s license. Thus, it is imperative to stay at the scene and call the police.
How Can You Avoid a Hit-and-Run Charge in Alabama?
Here are a few tips that may help you avoid being charged with a hit-and-run in Alabama:
- Make sure you stop at the scene of the accident and exchange information with the other driver.
- Notify your insurance company about the accident. If you leave the scene of an accident without exchanging information or notifying your insurance company, you could be charged with a hit-and-run offense.
- Report the accident to the police. By reporting the accident, you ensure that all of the necessary information is documented and that both parties are aware of what happened. This can also help prevent any future confusion or disputes about what occurred.
- Cooperate with the police if they are investigating the incident. This means truthfully answering any questions they have (without admitting fault) and providing any evidence or information that they request. If you do not cooperate with the police, you may be charged with hindering their investigation, which is a separate offense.
- Refrain from admitting fault. To make sure you avoid making this mistake when speaking to the police or an insurance adjuster, contact an attorney with Norris Injury Lawyers right away.
When You Are the Victim of a Hit-and-Run Accident in Alabama
When you have been in a hit-and-run, the first thing you should do is call the police. Once they have arrived, the officers will take a report and begin investigating the incident. If they are able to identify the driver who fled the scene, they will issue a warrant for that person’s arrest.
As the victim of a hit-and-run accident in Alabama, you are only required to call the police. If you are safe and able to do so, you should also make note of the time, license plate, and physical descriptions of the car such as color and make.
Try to note the driver’s description. Remember, the person fleeing the scene may be dangerous or unpredictable. Do not prevent that individual from leaving. If he or she displays threatening behavior, diffuse the situation, limit engagement, and ensure your safety.
If you have been the victim of a hit-and-run, it is important that you contact an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you recover the compensation you deserve. You can schedule a free consultation with Norris Injury Lawyers to get started on examining your legal options.
Should You Deal With the Insurance Companies Alone?
Once you’ve been the victim of a hit-and-run, the last thing you want to do is try to navigate the legal system or deal with insurance companies on your own. The entire process can be overwhelming and complicated, causing you undue stress.
You should take this time to recover instead. The insurance companies may try to prevent you from recovering the full compensation you deserve, but an experienced personal injury lawyer can work for your best interests while you focus on yourself.
At Norris Injury Lawyers, we have many years of experience dealing with hit-and-run accidents. We know how to handle the insurance companies and get you the compensation you deserve.
Involved in a Hit-and-Run Accident? Call Norris Injury Lawyers Today to Protect Your Rights
Being involved in a hit-and-run accident can be a very traumatizing experience. It is important to know that you are not alone and that there are people who can help you through these hard times.
The personal injury attorneys of Norris Injury Lawyers are experienced in handling hit-and-run accidents. We have over 40 years of experience handling hit-and-run cases in Alabama.
We know the ins and outs of both state and national law, and we can use our knowledge and experience to fight for your rights. During your free case review with our legal team, we will review your case and help you understand your legal options.
Located here in Alabama, we are ready to help you navigate the local legal system and protect your rights regarding your Alabama car accident.
If you’ve been injured or involved in a hit-and-run accident, your time to file a claim is limited. There is much to prepare to meet the deadline, but you don’t have to go through this process alone.
Contact Norris Injury Lawyers today to get the ball rolling. Call us at (800) 477-7510 to schedule a free consultation or fill out our contact form.