We Care

A Georgia hit-and-run crash could cost you

A report published last month cited Dekalb County as one of 50 counties in the United States with the highest hit-and-run fatalities. While Cumming isn’t in Dekalb County, it’s a short distance away. You might likely drive through the county on occasion.

Drivers are required to pull over any time they strike anyone. This includes a pedestrian, a bicyclist, a motorcyclist, another motorist or even inanimate objects. You need to check on any others involved to see whether they were hurt and summon help if they are. You must also exchange your personal and insurance information with them in case they need to file an insurance claim or pursue legal action. This is required under Georgia law.

Why do motorists flee the scene of a crash?

There are various reasons why a driver may drive off after striking someone. Some of the reasons may be intentional. You might have been intoxicated. Maybe you didn’t have a valid license or insurance and didn’t want law enforcement to find out. You might have also not stopped because you didn’t realize you caused a crash. If you know or even suspect that you struck someone, it’s always best to stop to avoid exposing yourself to criminal consequences  – or even more consequences than if you stopped.

What penalties do you face if you don’t stop after a collision?

The penalties that you face if you flee the scene of an accident in Georgia vary depending on whether you simply damaged property, injured someone or killed them. An accident that results in property damage is a misdemeanor offense that carries with it a $300 to $1,000 fine per violation. Any hit-and-run that results in someone else suffering injuries may also result in between $300 and $1,000 in fines and also carry with it a potential jail term of up to a year.

Prosecutors will generally charge a motorist who fled the scene of a crash in which they killed someone with a felony. A conviction on such an offense in Georgia carries with it between a one and 5-year prison term.

Many motorists assume that an accident didn’t cause anyone harm if there doesn’t appear to be extensive visual damage. You may have to pay a hefty price if you assume that and leave the scene of an accident.