In Oklahoma a hit and run accident is also known as leaving the scene. It’s called a hit-and-run when a driver involved in a car crash leaves the scene without stopping to communicate with others involved in the accident. It’s not necessarily a crime to be involved in a car wreck or even to cause one accidentally, but you can be charged with a crime if you leave the scene of an accident or hit and run without stopping to provide identification and do your best to give help to anyone who is injured in the crash.
Hit and Run Accident or Leaving The Scene?
If you are involved in a serious car crash and leave the scene, an Oklahoma prosecutor can charge you with a felony. The elements of the crime involve proof that you did the following:
- Drove a vehicle
- That was involved in a collision
- That caused serious injury or death of any person, and
- That you knowingly and willfully
- Failed to stop your vehicle as close as possible to the scene of the crash and remain there until
- You provided your name, address, and vehicle registration number and
- Rendered such aid as you could provide to anyone injured in the crash
If the accident caused non-fatal injuries, you could move your car or park it nearby in an area that does not obstruct traffic and then return to the scene to render assistance and provide information while waiting for authorities to arrive to take an accident report. Just like other crimes the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed the hit and run. They can do this with video evidence if they have it or statements made by you. That one reason to remain silent if the Police question you about this kind of crime.
Potential Punishment For An Oklahoma Hit-And-Run Crash
Depending on the severity of the crash and the damages and injuries it caused, you could face felony charges for leaving the scene of the accident. If the accident resulted in injury or death, leaving the scene is a felony that can be punished by up to 10 days in prison upon conviction. An accident that caused property damage only might result in misdemeanor charges for leaving the scene without stopping to provide identification and render aid.
As an “at-fault” state, Oklahoma laws provide that if the crash was more your fault than anyone else’s, you are responsible for paying damages to injured parties who need medical care and for property repairs for damaged vehicles and other property. Your insurance will generally take responsibility for covering costs of repairs and damages, minus your deductibles, if any, up to the limits of your policy coverages.
Victims of a hit-and-run crash who can identify the vehicle involved and its driver at the time of the crash can bring a civil action to get economic recovery for property damage and repairs, costs of medical bills and treatment, lost wages, pain and suffering compensation, and even punitive damages against a driver who left the scene of a crash. Someone injured in a crash generally has two years from the accident date to file a lawsuit for the financial recovery of the monetary losses caused by the wreck.
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The aftermath of a car crash can be a confusing and overwhelming time. Its not uncommon for the stress and fear involved with an accident causes someone to simply drive off. Even though, the worst thing anyone can do after a crash is to flee the scene and hope that problems won’t follow. Leaving the scene of a serious car accident is a crime and will only make problems worse for anyone involved. Call the criminal defense attorneys at Kania Law Office at 918-743-2233 or contact us online to schedule an initial consultation.
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