This blog post will discuss the penalties for leaving the scene of an accident and what you should do if you are the victim of a hit-and-run.
Penalties for hit and run in Georgia
The penalty for getting caught and charged with hit-and-run in Georgia greatly depends upon the severity of the accident. If it is a single-car accident that resulted in property damage to the corner of a building, light post, or fire hydrant, for example, misdemeanor charges are possible, but unlikely. Even if no criminal charge is filed, the traffic ticket and fine will be serious and restitution for damage repairs will likely be included. The driver will likely be punished with license revocation, as well.
An accident involving another vehicle, without injuries, leaving the scene will likely result in misdemeanor charges, with up to a $1,000 fine and possible jail time up to one year. Certainly expect a revocation of driving privileges for six months or more as part of the penalty.
In the event of an accident with injuries or death, the hit-and-run driver may face felony charges.
Steps you should take after a hit-and-run
After a hit-and-run accident, you will be filing a claim for property and injury damages against your own personal injury protection (PIP) coverage.
The more information you can provide the police, the better chance they will find the driver to hold him or her accountable. Here are some recommended steps to take:
Call the police to the scene.
Do your best to record the license plate state and number, or as much as you can recall.
Record the make, model, and color of the car, as much as you can recall. Take the best guess at the year of the model. Memories get foggy under stress, so write down or use your smartphone voice recorder app to record the information.
Use your smartphone to take a photo of the accident scene.
If you saw or spoke with the other driver, record any information about his or her physical appearance.
Record the conditions of the accident, such as time, weather, traffic pattern, and road conditions.
Takedown the contact information of anyone who may have witnessed the accident.
It is best not to discuss the accident with anyone at the scene, other than the police officer taking the official report.
Call an experienced personal injury lawyer
As soon as possible, report the accident to your own insurance company, but do not make or sign any formal statements. Contact Dozier Law Firm, LLC, in Macon or Savannah, Georgia, to discuss your options for filing a claim.