If you have been involved in a car accident, whether or not it was your fault or the other drivers, leaving the scene of the accident without handling the situation properly is one of the worst things that you can possibly do. There are steps that you must take no matter what the case is after an accident to ensure that you are keeping yourself free of the possibility of any additional issues.
Below, you can learn about the steps that you need to take after an accident, how leaving the scene will complicate things, and how we will handle this situation if you have been injured in an accident that someone else caused, who then left the scene. This will certainly play a role in the case that we present to the judge and jury during your personal injury lawsuit, and will play a factor in how we prove that the other driver was at fault for the accident, among other things.
Read more below about how to properly handle an accident, what sort of additional issues that leaving the scene can cause, and more. If you have been involved in a situation where you were in an OUI car accident and left the scene, contact us immediately for a free consultation and to schedule the first meeting to begin building a case.
When Is Leaving an Accident a Crime?
If you have been involved in an accident, you have a legal obligation to stop at the scene to provide all of your information to either the authorities or the other driver(s) involved in the accident. This is so that when each party later assess the damage caused in the accident, they will have the contact information and insurance company contact for everyone else involved, and will be able to seek or provide compensation.
In some cases, a driver will leave the scene without exchanging information. They may be driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, operating without a license, driving a stolen vehicle, in the possession of illegal substances, or any other number of things.
Leaving the scene of an accident is a crime if you have left without exchanging information with the other driver, or at least agreed that you will each go on your way, or fled without providing this information to the authorities if they were called.
Leaving the Scene of an OUI Accident
If you are involved in an accident while operating a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol, then this will play a role in the charges you face and the penalties you will be given. However, if you additionally leave the scene of the accident then you will face even more penalties than the OUI.
Massachusetts handles Leaving the Scene crimes depending on the injuries, and the fact that a driver was operating under the influence will enhance the charges.
Leaving The Scene of An Accident That Caused Property Damage
If you were involved in an accident that caused property damage, you are required to submit your information to the Registry of Motor Vehicles within 5 days, or you will be charged with leaving the scene.
These charges can result in a $200 fine, license suspension of up to a year, and possible jail time. If, in addition, you were found to be intoxicated at the time of the accident, your penalties will be enhanced accordingly.
Leaving The Scene of An Accident That Caused Injury
If you leave the scene of an accident that caused injuries, then you could be facing base penalties of up to $2,000 in fines, license suspension up to 2 years, and possible jail time of up to 2 years. Again, if you are additionally charged with OUI in the same incident, these charges will all be enhanced.
Leaving The Scene of An Accident That Caused Death
If you are charged with leaving the scene of an accident that caused a death, you will be dealing with felony charges. These charges will be greatly enhanced if you were additionally operating under the influence of drugs or alcohol including wrongful death lawsuits in addition to your criminal charges.
A conviction for this situation could include fines up to $5,000, permanent loss of license, and up to 20 years in prison, as well as the possibility of a wrongful death lawsuit from the family of the victim.
Contact OUI Attorneys Today
If you need the assistance of a Massachusetts OUI attorney, then contact us immediately to discuss your case and charges, and learn more about how we can help. These charges are serious, and we will treat your case with the importance it deserves.