Hit and Run Accident Attorney in Charleston, SC
Striking another vehicle and then fleeing the scene of the accident is one of the most serious infractions that a driver can commit. Passengers in the other car left behind after a vehicle has fled an accident may be injured and in need of medical assistance. That is why South Carolina law creates an affirmative duty for individuals involved in an accident to remain at the scene of the accident until law enforcement arrives and to render medical assistance if necessary.
On average, four people die every day in hit-and-run accidents in the United States and thousands more are injured. A significant fraction of hit-and-runs are committed by repeat DUI offenders who could face manslaughter or murder charges if the victim dies. Other factors associated with hit-and-runs include age and whether the driver is licensed and insured. A study by AAA concluded that an unlicensed driver is 66 times more likely to hit and run than a licensed driver. Too often these drivers are more concerned about the consequences of their actions for themselves than about the destruction they have wreaked on others.
The modern-day prevalence of security cameras and cell phone cameras makes it increasingly unlikely that a hit-and-run driver will escape identification. Nevertheless, sometimes the identity of a hit-and-run driver is unknown. In these cases, your insurance company may be liable for your losses under your insurance policy up to the maximum for “uninsured” driver insurance. Information that may be helpful to identify a hit-and-run driver—such a video footage from surveillance cameras—may be lost over time, so do not delay in seeking the help of an attorney to represent you.
S.C. Criminal Law Statutes on Hit-and-Run
Failure to stop after an accident can result in a felony or misdemeanor charge, depending upon whether or not the crash causes injury or death.
Striking an Unattended Vehicle
56-5-1240 provides that if a driver strikes an unattended vehicle, the driver must first try to locate the owner. If this cannot be accomplished, the driver must leave a note in a conspicuous area of the vehicle, with the driver’s name, address, and vehicle registration information. Failure to do so is a misdemeanor.
Striking an Attended Vehicle
56-5-1220 requires a driver who strikes an attended vehicle to stop as close as possible to the collision scene as is safe. If the vehicle can be moved off the road to prevent congestion of traffic, the driver is permitted to do so. The driver may only leave the scene of the accident temporarily to report it to law enforcement. Failing to comply with the statute is a misdemeanor.
Striking a Vehicle or Person and Causing Injury or Death
56-5-1220 provides a duty to stop when a collision occurs and causes bodily injury or death to another. Leaving the scene of an accident in these cases (except to report to law enforcement) is a misdemeanor if an injury is involved or a felony if great bodily injury or death is involved.
Contact an Experienced Attorney
If you have been involved in a hit and run accident, you may be left scared, confused, and uncertain about who will pay for your losses. Whether or not the perpetrator has been identified, you may benefit from consulting with an attorney experienced in representing victims of hit-and-run accidents. Call the Law Offices of Richard A. Hricik at the number above or use the contact form on this page to tell us your story and receive a free case consultation.
Resources Related to Hit and Run Accidents
SC Department of Insurance, Automobile Insurance
Other Information on Car Accidents
Car Accidents in Parking Lots
Drunk Driving / Driving under the Influence (DUI)
Hit and Run
Lane Change Accidents
Left Turn Collision
Limited Visibility Accident
Rear End Collisions
Texting While Driving
What to Do Following a Car Accident in South Carolina
Wrongful Death in Car Accidents