It is a driver’s responsibility to drive safely and without offence. Unfortunately, despite laws and penalties, many drivers still commit wrongdoings on the road – including hit-and-run. Learn more about this offence, here.
What is a hit-and-run?
Classified as an accident, a hit-and-run involves a driver who collides with a pedestrian, another car, or a fixed object then leaves the scene without providing personal information and/or assistance. Hit-and-run accidents can occur on highways, small roads and parking lots. Legal systems recognise this as an offence as it is punishable by law.
What should I do if I’ve experienced it?
If you are a victim of a hit-and-run, an experienced traffic accident lawyer in Townsville will tell you that the very first thing you should do is record important information. If you are able to, take note of the vehicle’s plate number, make, model, colour and approximate year of manufacture. Document the time and location of the accident, as well as the direction of the absconding driver. Take photos and videos if you can, or find out if there is CCTV footage you can acquire.
After gathering essential information, immediately report the incident to the police. Surrender all gathered data so they can help you identify the offender. If your car was involved in the accident, it is essential to report the incident to your insurance company. Informing your provider allows you to receive appropriate coverage for damages incurred.
What are the punishments corresponding with a hit-and-run claim?
The penalty for a hit-and-run offence depends on the severity of the incident. For minor cases, a magistrate may serve a fine for the offender to settle or suspend his/her driver’s license for one to six months. Severe cases, on the other hand, may very well merit an arrest and jail time. A magistrate may order 14 days of imprisonment for the first offence and one month for subsequent offences – harsher penalties apply to more severe cases. Apart from these penalties, the court usually orders the offender to pay the victim a sum of money to compensate for the damage done.
Despite the punishments associated with a hit and run claim, many drivers still commit the offence. If you are a victim, do not hesitate to report the incident to the police and seek legal representation at the soonest possible time.