Can You Go To Jail for Accidentally Hitting Someone?
Updated: Feb 24
There are many motorists in the United States who are involved in car accidents every year. Most accidents are vehicle to vehicle, but the number of car to pedestrian accidents is worrying. When you drive, a huge responsibility is to be aware of injuries or damages that you can cause to a pedestrian. Hitting someone when driving can carry massive consequences, which could range from a criminal charge, paying compensation to their family, or even losing your license.
Personal Injury Lawsuits
Accidentally hitting a pedestrian with your car needs thorough investigation to determine who was at fault. If it was the driver's fault, they might need to compensate the injured party. Any medical bills incurred by the pedestrian may become the accused's liability if they are proven guilty.
In most cases, personal injury claims might be settled out of the court system between the victim and the driver. If you have not committed a criminal offense at the time of the incident, there is a good possibility that you might not be put in jail.
Wrongful Death Lawsuit
10% of all traffic offenses in the United States account for a part of all road accident deaths each year. When you lose a loved one through an automobile accident, it can be a very traumatic experience. If the cause of death is your fault, a civil lawsuit may be filed against you by the deceased's family members and you may need the help of a St Louis injury law firm.
They might attempt to claim damages from you for your negligence as the driver who causes the injuries or death of the pedestrian.
Hit and Run Criminal Charges
Accidentally hitting someone with your motor vehicle can happen in the blink of an eye and requires that the correct protocol is followed to determine needed compensation. It is good to keep in mind that should you flee the scene, it is a sign you have disregarded the law. There is a chance of a long-term jail sentence caused by your negligence. That is the case when you leave an injured victim at an accident scene showing a complete disregard for your actions and the individual's life.
Driving Under the Influence
If you are driving drunk and hit a pedestrian by accident, that is a severe cause for concern in the eyes of the law. These kinds of circumstances can lead to conviction and arrest if you are proven to be in the wrong. When you knock down a pedestrian and injure them, your license can be suspended for an extended period or forever.
Criminal Charges of Vehicular or Involuntary Manslaughter
Accidentally hitting someone might lead to that person's death or catastrophic injuries that could affect them for a lifetime. However, there must be proof that you were driving recklessly. Let's say, for example, you accidentally hit someone while under the influence of alcohol, that would be considered reckless negligence on the driver's behalf.
Hitting someone accidentally while they cross the road at non-designated spots could be a case taken to court. If the pedestrian is at fault, you are not going to be liable for compensation due to the individual's recklessness. In the case that the pedestrian has caused you to swerve off the road, causing damages to you and your vehicle, you might be able to claim compensation for the desecration caused to you and your property.
What to Do After Accidentally Hitting Someone?
Driving into a pedestrian is a harrowing experience that causes a lot of confusion and could result in jail time for the driver. It is imperative to remain as calm as possible during an incident of this nature so that you can ensure the best outcome for all involved.
You need to take some essential steps when you encounter such problematic events on the roads. First, you should call for medical assistance and then contact the police. The police officials can take your statement so it can be used for evidence in the event of a personal injury case. You may face serious criminal charges if you fail to call for medical help or attempt to move the person you just hit. You may need help from a pedestrian accident lawyer.
Driving is challenging and can be stressful if you are not careful. It is essential to be focused and of a sober mind when navigating the roads at all times. You can save yourself a lot of time and money by just being responsible and considerate when driving your automobile.