Every driver throughout the United States has a legal obligation to stop after they experience a car accident. However, many drivers may leave the scene of an accident because they either failed to realize they caused an accident, they do not have insurance coverage, they are potentially operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or perhaps even have a warrant out for their arrest. Whatever the reason that a motorist has to not stop following an accident, their actions are illegal under the law in the state of Oklahoma.
If you suffered any injuries or losses following a hit and run accident, you may feel overwhelmed and unsure of your next steps. Learn more about your legal rights by contacting our legal team for a free consultation at (800) 598-7557. An Oklahoma City hit and run accident lawyer with Ben Crump Law, PLLC is eager to begin working for you.
Oklahoma Law Regarding Car Accidents
Oklahoma Statute (OS) §10-104 requires that every motorist involved in a car accident in the state of Oklahoma stop and provide aid and assistance to others involved in the accident. The motorist must provide his or her name to the other drivers, as well as their driver’s license, car insurance information, and contact information.
OS §10-103 indicates that the failure of a driver to stop following involvement in a car accident can result in prosecution and criminal charges against the driver that leaves the scene of the accident. The state of Oklahoma may file the following charges against a driver that makes the decision to leave the scene of an accident:
- Damage to another vehicle but no injuries – Misdemeanor charge with a fine up to $500 and/or up to one year in the county jail
- Non-fatal injury – Felony charge with a fine up to $1000 and/or a prison sentence up to two years
- Fatal injury – Felony charge with a fine up to $10,000 and/or up to ten years in prison
Civil penalties are also possible against drivers that fail to stop after a car accident. Under Oklahoma Statute §10-103, motorists that cause harm and flee the scene of an accident can receive a penalty requiring them to pay three times the actual damage caused by the accident. Additionally, other civil penalties can result for a motorist that flees the scene of an accident, including citations and tickets issued by the police. It is important to note that a driver can still remain civilly liable to compensate a victim for their injuries and losses even if they receive an acquittal or dismissal of all criminal charges.
The exact type of criminal charges and civil penalties will largely rest upon the specific facts and circumstances of your car accident. In order to determine all of your legal options following a hit and run accident, contact us to learn how an Oklahoma City hit and run accident lawyer at Ben Crump Law, PLLC can work with you to build your personal injury case.
For a free legal consultation with a hit and run accidents lawyer serving Oklahoma City, call 800-598-7557
Reasons Drivers Flee the Scene of an Accident
There are many reasons why a driver may flee the scene of an accident including the following:
- Failing to maintain a valid driver’s license
- Failing to maintain car insurance coverage
- Operating a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Not having valid citizenship or the legal right to remain in the United States
- Having a warrant out for their arrest for another charge
- Failing to understand that they caused or were even involved in an accident
- Simply not wanting to have the responsibility for the losses associated with the car accident
Oklahoma City Hit and Run Accident Lawyer Near Me 800-598-7557
How to Receive Compensation for Your Injuries and Losses Following a Hit and Run Accident
If the police find the driver that fled the scene of the accident, you can either attempt to receive compensation from his insurance company or from the driver personally if he or she does not have insurance coverage. Unfortunately, many hit and run accident cases result in the inability of the police to locate the hit and run driver. As a result, a victim may have to look to their own insurance coverage to see if they can receive compensation for their injuries and losses. Follow these steps if the police remain unable to locate the hit and run driver:
- Contact your insurance company as soon as possible and request a complete copy of your insurance policy. Do not take the word of the insurance agent regarding your coverage amounts and types of coverage. Once you obtain a valid copy of your insurance policy, look to see if you have uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage (for your physical injuries), collision coverage (to compensate you for your property damage), and/or medical payment coverage (for medical expenses).
- If you discover that you do have these types of insurance coverage, you will need to work directly with your insurance company in order to receive compensation for your economic and non-economic losses associated with your hit and run accident.
- Make sure never to allow an insurance company to record your conversations, as this can provide a foundation upon which they will offer you a lower settlement in the future.
- Never provide a full medical history to an insurance company as they may use this to attempt to substantiate the position that a prior pre-existing condition caused your injuries instead of the hit and run accident.
- Never accept the first settlement amount provided by an insurance company, as it is typically the lowest amount they will offer.
Call for a Free Consultation Today
If you experienced a hit and run accident in the state of Oklahoma, you may face challenges in receiving compensation for your injuries and losses. Consider calling Ben Crump Law, PLLC at (800) 598-7557 for a free consultation. An Oklahoma City hit and run accident lawyer can protect your rights.