In addition to facing criminal charges, hit-and-run drivers can also be held liable for damages you suffer through a personal injury claim.
Car accidents can happen to even the safest and most experienced of drivers. It is often the reckless actions of others that are to blame. By law, all motorists involved are required to stop at the scene and exchange information with other drivers. This helps ensure those at fault can be held accountable in a claim. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for at-fault drivers to attempt to flee the scene of a crash in order to evade responsibility. When they do, they can wind up facing criminal charges in addition to being held liable in a personal injury lawsuit.
Hit-and-Run Accidents Common in Tulsa
According to the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office (OHSO), close to 13,500 car accidents in Tulsa County happen each year. As many as 20% of these are likely to involve hit and run drivers. Crashes and collisions in which drivers flee the scene are common throughout the state and can end up seriously impacting other motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians. Common reasons why drivers fail to stop when an accident happens include:
- They are driving without insurance or a valid driver’s license and vehicle registration;
- They are driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs;
- They are engaged in other illegal activities;
- They suspect police may have a warrant out for their arrest;
- They have concerns regarding their citizenship status.
Leaving the scene of an accident can result in criminal charges in Oklahoma. Hit-and-run drivers can also be held liable for any damages victims suffer as a result of their actions.
Civil and Criminal Penalties for Hit-and-Runs in Oklahoma
By law, drivers are required to come to a complete stop if they are involved in a car accident. They should notify police, render aid to any injured victims, and exchange contact and insurance information with other drivers involved. When they fail to do so, they could face serious criminal charges.
Under the Oklahoma Statutes, leaving the scene of an accident can result in heavy fines and a potentially lengthy jail sentence. These drivers can also be held liable for damages you suffer through a personal injury lawsuit. Compensation that is generally available in these types of cases includes:
- Economic damages, which cover your current and future medical costs and lost wages;
- Non-economic damages, which compensate you for pain and suffering;
- Punitive damages, which are designed to punish the at-fault driver and may equal up to three times the amount of any other compensation you are entitled to receive.
Our Tulsa, OK Hit-and-Run Accident Attorneys are Here to Help You
At Boettcher, Devinney, Ingle & Wicker, we take the actions needed to identify hit-and-run drivers so that they can be held accountable in a personal injury claim. To find out how we can help you, call 918-728-6500 or contact our Tulsa, OK hit and run accident attorneys online and request a consultation today.