What to Do After a Hit and Run Accident in Utah
How is a Hit and Run Accident Defined in Utah?
According to Utah state law, motorists are required to stop their vehicle if they are involved in an accident on public roads. Even if a police officer does not arrive, you must remain at the scene of the crash to assist any injured persons and to help create a report of the accident in order to determine fault.
No matter if you are in a minor fender bender or a catastrophic pile-up, you must remain at the scene of the crash until the police arrive or information is exchanged between drivers. The last thing you want to happen after a car accident is to be charged with a crime because you made a rash decision and drove away.
What is the Penalty for a Hit and Run in Utah?
In Utah, leaving the scene of a car accident before the above criteria is met constitutes a hit-and run and could expose you to criminal penalties. A hit-and-run accident causing no physical injuries could lead to Class B misdemeanor in Utah. Class B misdemeanors can carry a jail sentence up to 6 months and a fine up to $1,000.
A hit-and-run that causes a personal injury, on the other hand, is a far more serious situation. At the very least, you risk being charged with a Class A misdemeanor. In fact, if the injuries caused by the accident are serious or even cause death, you could face a 3rd degree felony. A Class A misdemeanor could lead to a full year in jail and up to a $2,500 fine. If you are charged with a third degree felony for the personal injuries you’ve caused in the accident you potentially face up to 5 years in prison and $5,000 in fines. With so much at risk, the wisest choice you can make after a car accident is to stay and wait until it’s safe to leave the scene. Better safe than in prison.
What To Do if You are the Victim of a Hit and Run Accident?
The best advice The Advocates can give after a hit-and-run collision, or any accident for that matter, is to remain calm. Check yourself first for injuries and then any passengers before exiting the vehicle. Remember, your health comes first.
Once you are certain no one is gravely injured and in need of urgent medical attention, do all you can to gather any information about the vehicle that hit you. This includes the license plate number, the make, model, and color of the vehicle, or a description of the driver. Write this information down immediately or take photos/video if you can. It is important to quickly notate a brief description of what transpired since your memory may be fuzzy due to the shock of the accident. Finally, you should then call the police to report the hit-and-run.
After notifying the police about the hit-and-run, you should seek out any witnesses whom may have seen the accident take place. Kindly ask them for their names and contact information so they can corroborate your side of the story. A hit-and-run is a criminal case in the state of Utah’s eyes, so the more witnesses and evidence you have to back up your version of the events the better.
Contact an Attorney with The Advocates
If you’ve been hurt in a hit-and-run accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and losses. The attorneys with The Advocates are experts at helping hit-and-run victims recover just compensation after their accidents. Over the years, we’ve helped thousands of accident victims rebuild their lives again by getting back on the road to recovery. Why settle for second best when you can have an Advocate on your side? An Advocate attorneys is far better than an ordinary lawyer. Our attorneys truly care about you and your family. You’ll never be just a case number with The Advocates. We’ll treat your case as if you were a member of our own family. That’s our promise to you. You deserve an Advocate!