A recent tragedy on Interstate 65 in Autauga County, shines light on the
hit and run accidents and the consequences at-fault drivers can face for leaving the scene.
For most of us, pulling over after striking a pedestrian or vehicle on
the roadway is the obvious thing to do.
But it is also the law. Anyone who leaves the scene of the accident is essentially obstructing
justice in an attempt to evade the authorities and the consequences of
their actions. For this reason, the
penalties are much harsher for hit and run drivers.
Penalties for Leaving the Scene of an Accident
Drivers involved in fatal hit and run accidents, cause more trouble for
themselves and others by leaving the scene and attempting to avoid legal
responsibility. In Alabama,
a driver who leaves the scene of an accident, which results in injury or
death, can be charged with a felony and up to 10 years imprisionment. While it is often true that drivers who leave the scene can be difficult
to locate, the police possess many resources with which to catch the guilty
party, such as eye-witness and security footage.
Alabama’s Hit and Run Statute
Like most states, Alabama has enacted a specific statute prohibiting drivers
from leaving the scene of an automobile accident, involving injuries or
death. Alabama Code §32-10-1 states as follows:
"The driver of any motor vehicle involved in an accident resulting
in injury to or the death of any person, or in damage to a motor vehicle
or other vehicle which is driven or attended by any person, shall immediately
stop such vehicle at the scene of such accident or as close thereto as
possible and shall then forthwith return to and in every event shall remain
at the scene of the accident until he has fulfilled the requirements of
Section 32-10-3. Every such stop shall be made without obstructing traffic
more than is necessary. The penalty for violation of this statute set
forth in Ala. Code §32-10-6 is the same as for a Class C felony,
which is “not more than 10 years or less than 1 year and 1 day.”
What to Do After a Hit and Run Accident?
If you or a loved one was injured or killed by a hit and run driver, there
are important steps to follow if you want to hold the guilty party accountable.
Call the police immediately! This is the most obvious step to take, especially if the accident resulted
in serious injury or death, but still must be stated.
See a doctor as soon as possible. Again, if you or your loved one suffered a serious injury, this may seem
obvious. However, many people are hesitant about seeing doctors and may
feel like their injuries aren't that serious.
It's critical that you get examined by a medical professional after
Call a Birmingham car accident attorney who will fight for you. If you wish to pursue the maximum amount of compensation for your injuries, you need
an attorney. Your insurance company, and the insurance company of the other driver
(if they are found) will try to mimimize your claim to avoid a heavy pay out.
An attorney can fight with the insurance company on your behalf, and if
necessary, take your case to court.
If you have questions,
contact our Birmingham car accident attorney or by calling the Law Office of Cody R. Wix, LLC, at (205) 381-4787.