Your Duties After Being Involved in a Car Crash

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car with a breakdown in the rain and fog
A Carthage, North Carolina Marine was struck and killed in Maryland, and law enforcement is now offering a reward for information leading to the arrest of the driver responsible. The Marine, Cpl. William Kyle Ferrell, was stationed at Camp David and had stopped to help a motorist along U.S. 15 in Maryland when he was struck and killed by a truck. The motorist fled the scene, but not before some witnesses were able to see that the truck that hit the Marine was likely pulling a trailer.

Hit-and-Run Laws in South Carolina

Recognizing that people injured in motor vehicle crashes (whether between two cars, between a car and a pedestrian, or otherwise) may need life-saving treatment and often have no way of identifying the other person involved in the crash absent that person’s voluntary identification of him- or herself, South Carolina and other states have created laws that impose certain duties on drivers who are involved in motor vehicle crashes. If violated, these laws can subject a motorist to misdemeanor or felony consequences – even if the crash itself was truly just an accident.
The duties imposed by South Carolina laws on motorists involved in a crash include:

  • The duty to stop at the scene of the accident;
  • The duty to render “reasonable” assistance to anyone who appears to be injured (reasonable assistance may simply consist of calling 911 and following instructions from the dispatcher); and
  • Provide information about yourself and your insurance coverage to others involved in the crash.

Violating any one of these duties can lead to criminal charges of leaving the scene of an accident. This charge can be a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the damage done and whether individuals were injured or if the crash only resulted in damage to property.

What if I Made a Mistake?

The laws are targeted at those individuals who know they were involved in a crash but who deliberately choose to drive away from the scene of the crash anyway. Nevertheless, individuals who made a bad decision or mistake – even some innocent drivers – can find themselves charged with a criminal offense. For instance, an inexperienced driver who knows he or she was involved in an accident but who becomes scared and leaves the scene can be charged with a criminal offense, even if he or she has a change of heart and later returns to the scene. Similarly, a person who is not aware that he or she had struck someone or was involved in an accident and who therefore drives off can be charged criminally.
South Carolina criminal defense attorney David R. Price, Jr. advocates persuasively and zealously for the rights of his clients. Contact his office if you are charged with leaving the scene of an accident or other traffic-related crimes. Your guilt or innocence of criminal charges often depends on whether certain minute but important details exist. Your Greenville traffic crimes attorney will conduct a thorough investigation in your case and work to protect your interests. Contact the law office of David R. Price, Jr., P.A. today by calling (864) 271-2636.

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