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Williamsport Hit-and-Run Accident Lawyer

PENNSYLVANIA LAW REQUIRES ANYONE INVOLVED IN A VEHICLE CRASH TO STOP AND STAY AT THE SCENE, EVEN IF NO ONE IS HURT, AND TO PROVIDE REQUIRED INFORMATION THAT INCLUDES NAME AND ADDRESS AND SHOWING A LICENSE AND REGISTRATION. IF THE CRASH RESULTS IN PROPERTY DAMAGE, PERSONAL INJURY OR DEATH, DRIVERS MUST IMMEDIATELY STOP AT THE SCENE, PROVIDE IDENTIFICATION AND INSURANCE INFORMATION, AND ASSIST ANYONE WHO MAY BE HURT. EVEN IF THE ACCIDENT WAS ENTIRELY THE FAULT OF THE OTHER PERSON, DRIVERS WHO FAIL TO STOP AND WHO LEAVE THE SCENE ARE CONSIDERED TO HAVE COMMITTED A HIT-AND-RUN CRIME.

Hit-and-run penalties can be severe, depending on whether or not there are injuries. Penalties increase if the hit-and-run driver is found to be grossly negligent, such as if driving while under the influence.

If you or a loved one was injured as a result of a hit-and-run driver, you should get legal assistance immediately. If another party’s negligence or responsibility was involved in the accident, you may be entitled to receive financial compensation. However, insurance companies will use tactics to attempt to get you to settle for the lowest amount possible, so your case must be handled correctly and competently, or you may never receive the compensation you are entitled to.

Evidence from a crash can evaporate quickly, as witnesses disappear, and damaged vehicles are towed away. An experienced car crash attorney can ensure that all of the evidence is properly preserved and have pictures taken to validate your injuries and damages. Your attorney will do everything possible to identify the driver who fled the scene. Even if the driver cannot be found, an attorney can help make sure you can collect the largest settlement possible from your own car insurance policy.

Clifford A. Rieders of Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann knows the courts and the system and what you need to do to increase your chances of getting the settlement you deserve. We offer a free consultation to carefully examine the individual facts in your case and determine the best way to handle it. Contact us today online or call our offices at (570) 323-8711 to set up your free consultation.

What is Pennsylvania Law on Leaving The Scene Of An Accident?

Under 75 Pa.C.S. 3742, 3743 and 3745, all drivers are required to notify the police department about any car accident, whether or not the driver was responsible for the accident and even if the accident involved unattended property. Notification should include insurance and contact information.

If there are multiple vehicles involved, all drivers must remain at the scene to give a report and provide information concerning insurance, registration, and driver’s license to a police official. If police do not come to the scene, drivers must report the incident at the nearest police station.

The possible penalties for leaving the scene of an accident vary depending upon the amount of damage and the level of injury caused, as follows:

  • If the accident involved unattended property, leaving the scene of an accident may be punished by a fine of up to $300 and 90 days in jail.
  • If no one is injured, the hit-and-run is a misdemeanor, but even those convicted of leaving the scene of a minor “fender bender” could face up to a year in jail, a fine of $2,500, and a loss of driver’s license.
  • If there are serious injuries involved, the crime becomes a third degree felony with a minimum of 90 days and up to seven years in jail and a minimum fine of $1,000.
  • Drivers caught and convicted of causing a fatal hit-and-run accident will face anywhere from one to 10 years in prison and a minimum fine of $2,500, plus damages to the family of the victim and license suspension of 6 months to one year.

What Does Compensation Cover?

In Pennsylvania, compensated costs and losses for crash victims fall into two categories: economic damages and non-economic damages.

  1. Economic damages are expenses which can be objectively calculated, such as medical and hospital, therapy, and rehabilitation costs, costs of equipment such as wheelchairs, lost income, property damage, and funeral and burial costs if a death is involved.  This includes past, present and future expenses.  Sometimes there is “subrogation.”  A lawyer needs to explain how that system works.
  2. Non-economic damages include disfigurement, the loss of enjoyment of life prior to death, pain and suffering and the loss of a marital relationship (consortium).

What to Do In Case of a Crash

If involved in a vehicle crash, you should follow these rules:

  • Stop immediately and stay at the scene until police arrive.
  • Check on all drivers and passengers and call 911 to report injuries and call for medical assistance.
  • Inform police if the accident resulted in injuries, death or property damage and stay at the scene until they have taken their report.
  • Talk to witnesses and get their contact information.
  • Take pictures of the crash scene, damages and injuries.
  • Submit a Driver’s Accident Report within 5 days of an accident, if the accident was not investigated by the police or the accident resulted in death, injury or severe damage to any vehicle.
  • Get legal representation before talking to your insurance company.

Be aware that Pennsylvania has a Statute of limitations – a deadline of two years after the accident for filing a personal injury or property damage lawsuit. If you miss the two-year lawsuit filing deadline, the court will throw out your case. For an injury case, the date the clock starts running is the date of the accident. If a death is involved, this is figured from the date the victim died. In certain circumstances, Pennsylvania has a tolling rule which may involve discovery or minors.  These are complex matters that you should talk to an attorney about.

Contact Us for Help

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car crash, let the skilled and experienced Pennsylvania car crash attorney Cliff Rieders of Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann help relieve your worries and get you the best settlement possible.

Cliff Rieders is a Nationally Board-Certified specialist for Civil Trial and Civil Practice and Procedure, a cum laude Phi Beta Kappa graduate of New York University as well as Georgetown University Law Center.  Rieders is a life member of the American Law Institute, which publishes recommended legal principles utilized throughout the United States.  He is a Past President of the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, formerly Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association.  Rieders has won numerous awards and recognition from the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, and he received the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority recognition award.  Cliff Rieders was a founder of the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority and served on same for 15 years.   Cliff Rieders wrote the book on the Financial Responsibility Law that many lawyers in the state use and which is publically available.  He teaches the material to other lawyers as well.

Rieders was a Law Clerk in the federal court system for one of the most well-known and longest serving federal judges in the country, the Honorable Malcolm Muir. Cliff has received the George F. Douglas Amicus Curiae Award, as well as the Milton D. Rosenberg Award from the Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers.  Rieders is on committees and organizations that write the law in many fields of practice. Cliff Rieders was involved in the writing of the Mcare Act, which governs medical liability actions in Pennsylvania, and he wrote the book on medical malpractice that lawyers use in the state.  Cliff has authored a number of other textbooks and articles and he frequently teaches the law to other experienced lawyers.  Cliff Rieders is admitted in state and federal courts, including the Supreme Court of the United States.  He is a Nationally Board-Certified specialist for Civil Trial and Civil Practice and Procedure and is admitted in state and federal courts, including the Supreme Court of the United States.

At Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann, we offer you experience, knowledge, compassion, and a long history of results.  Do not delay. Call (570) 323-8711 or contact us online to set up your free consultation today.

Our Legal Team

AttorneyClifford A. Rieders
Partner
Jeffrey C. Dohrmann
AttorneyJeffrey C. Dohrmann
Partner
Corey J. Mowrey
AttorneyCorey J. Mowrey
Associate
Attorney John Humphrey
AttorneyJohn M. Humphrey
Partner
Attorney Walter
AttorneyC. Scott Waters
Partner
Pamela L. Shipman
AttorneyPamela L. Shipman
Associate

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