Most drivers know that if they are in an accident, the law says they must remain on the scene until police and medical services arrive. However, that may not be ideal for a driver who has no insurance, is under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or is driving a vehicle they do not have legal access to. Sometimes, the driver may choose to flee the scene instead of facing the consequences.
A driver convicted of leaving the scene of an injury accident, a class A misdemeanor in Indiana, could receive a sentence of up to $5,000 and a year in jail. The charge could increase to a felony, which carries fines and prison time that escalate depending on the severity of the injuries and whether the hit and run driver was under the influence.
If the injured party can identify the other driver through their license plate or other means, the police will track the suspect down. If the evidence proves they were responsible for the accident, the hit-and-run driver’s insurance should pay for damages.
If the driver who caused the accident leaves the scene without waiting for the police and exchanging contact information, the injured party can still collect damages under the uninsured motorist clause of their auto insurance policy. However, the insurance policy will still pursue the hit-and-run driver to try to recoup the damages.
In any accident, getting medical attention for injuries is the first step. Then, if possible, collect as much information as possible about the other vehicle and scan the area for witnesses who might provide details about the incident.