Car crashes do more than just cause property damage. They can leave people severely or fatally injured. The law, therefore, requires that anyone involved in a collision where other people get hurt to stop to check on the other people involved and report the matter to police as soon as possible. Therefore, someone who leaves the scene of a crash may commit a legal infraction.
Louisiana state law penalizes hit-and-run drivers by imposing fines and possible jail sentences. When there is only property damage, the penalties are minimal. If someone gets hurt or dies, the consequences can be much more serious. The maximum penalties allowed under state law include up to $5,000 in fines and possibly up to 10 years of incarceration. Prosecution can result in penalties for a person who has left the scene of the crash but won’t necessarily help the people they may have hurt. What protects those involved in a hit-and-run collision?
A robust police response
When someone calls to report a hit-and-run collision, the local police department should begin an investigation. Information ranging from mobile phone data and traffic camera footage to reports about vehicles brought into local repair shops could help law enforcement professionals track down who caused the crash. Successfully identifying the driver at fault for the wreck will make it much easier for a motorist to hold that party accountable. They can file an insurance claim against the hit-and-run driver. They may also be able to pursue a personal injury lawsuit if their expenses were significant for the driver does not have adequate insurance.
Outside legal support
In situations where police departments do not seem to devote enough time or resources to investigating a hit-and-run, people sometimes partner with legal professionals who can push law enforcement agencies to look at the situation more carefully or conduct their own research. Occasionally, drivers involved in a crash will have no choice but to use their own insurance policy. Those with special coverage, including uninsured motorist protection, may be able to file a claim that will cover at least some of their collision costs.
Considering every option for compensation after a hit-and-run collision in Louisiana can potentially help someone more effectively cover the costs generated by a wreck. Seeking legal guidance is a good way to get started.