Why You Should Never Leave the Scene of an Accident

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There are serious penalties in Connecticut for drivers who leave the scene of an accident, especially when property is damaged or a person has been injured or killed.

Connecticut law requires that a motor vehicle operator who is knowingly involved in an accident to stop and render assistance as may be needed and provide an injured person, an officer, a witness, or an owner of damaged property with his or her name, address, and operator’s license and registration number. (CGS § 14-224 (a) and (b))

If a driver fails to stop as per above, they will be subject to a number of penalties depending on their driving record, property damage and related injuries. Penalties range from imprisonment from 1-20 years, fines that can range from $75 – $20,000, or both. Offenders also face license suspension penalties.

Possible Charges Resulting from Leaving the Scene of an Accident in CT

 Misconduct with a motor vehicle (CGS § 53a57)

 Assault (CGS § 53a-59 et seq.)

Manslaughter (CGS § 53a-55 et seq.)

Murder (CGS § 53a-54a)

Additionally intoxicated drivers could be charged with:

Driving under the influence (CGS § 14-227a)

2nd degree manslaughter with a motor vehicle, if he or she causes a death (CGS § 53a-56b)

2nd degree assault with a motor vehicle, if he or she causes serious physical injury (CGS § 53a-60d)

Leaving the Scene of an Accident and Evading Responsibility

Per Connecticut law a motor vehicle operator who is knowingly involved in an accident has the responsibility of stopping and rendering assistance as needed. Connecticut law also requires drivers to provide his or her name, address, along with their operator’s license and registration number to anyone who was involved in the accident including any injured persons, officer(s), and witnesses of the accident. In the case of property damage the vehicle operator is also required to provide contact information to the owner of the damaged property. If, for any reason or cause, the vehicle operator is unable to give such information to the victims involved in the accident they should immediately report the fatality, injury, or property damage to a police officer or at the nearest police precinct or station.                    Source: https://www.cga.ct.gov/2015/rpt/pdf/2015-R-0189.pdf

Compensation for Victims of an Accident Caused by a Fleeing at Fault Motorist

If you are a victim of a motor vehicle accident caused by as fleeing or evading motorist, who fails to follow any of the laws listed above, then thankfully under CT law there is still a remedy available to you to recover compensation for your injuries, medical bills, lost wages, and other damages sustained due to this irresponsible motorist. Under CT law, every motorist is required to maintain Uninsured Motorist Insurance coverage on their automobile, which is triggered when the party at fault has no active auto insurance themselves for a variety of reasons, or when the at fault motorist flees the scene and remains unidentified. Under this CT law and the uninsured motorist coverage, the injured victim is allowed to make a claim under their own uninsured motorist coverage for their injuries and other related losses caused by the wrongful conduct of the evading motorist. Our CT Supreme Court has even stated in a binding court decision that one’s uninsured motorist insurance policy has to cover the fleeing motorist’s wrongful conduct even if there is no contact made between the fleeing motorist and the victim’s vehicle. For example, if the evading motorist enters the victim’s lane illegally, and to avoid a collision with that vehicle, the victim takes evasive action in his or her vehicle and ends up hitting another vehicle or a utility pole, then, if there is evidence this is what occurred, the uninsured motorist coverage mandatorily must cover the evading motorist’s wrongful conduct in causing the accident. This is yet another reason it is so important to make sure you have adequate auto insurance coverage for not only liability, collision, property damage, comprehensive, but also uninsured motorist. Having full coverage is great, but make sure that you purchase high limits of coverage above the minimum state requirements so that you are protected properly from catastrophe.

Protecting Your Rights After an Accident

If you were injured in an accident we are here to assist you! Car accident victims can suffer a range of injuries, from broken bones to brain injuries and spinal cord injuries. Whether the injury causes temporary or permanent disability, you may need compensation for medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering. To recover adequate compensation, you will definitely need representation from an experienced attorney.

At Tindall Law Firm, LLC, we fight to recover damages for car accident victims in Connecticut. With 25 years of experience, Attorney Tavis Tindall has the knowledge and skill to hold the negligent driver accountable for your losses. For a free consultation with a Waterbury car accident injury lawyer, please call  203.755.0018 or contact us online.