Hit And Run

In traffic laws, a hit-and-run or a hit-and-run is the act of causing a traffic collision and not stopping afterward.

In many jurisdictions, there may be an additional obligation to exchange information about one’s financial responsibility (including any applicable insurance) or to summon emergency services if they are needed. There may also be a requirement to leave a note containing pertinent information if the property owner is not present.

Hit-and-run laws were among the earliest traffic laws to be enacted after the invention of motor vehicles; they arose from the difficulties that early traffic collision victims faced in identifying perpetrators and bringing them to justice. Apart from the obvious ability of an automobile to flee the scene quickly (if still driveable), roads were unpaved and hence quite dusty, vehicles at the time did not have license plates, and drivers wore large goggles and dusters which effectively rendered them anonymous.

Legal consequences of hit-and-run may include the suspension or cancellation of one’s driver’s license; lifetime revocation of a driver’s license is possible in certain jurisdictions. It is frequently considered a criminal offense, which can be punished by fines and imprisonment. Insurance companies often raise the insurance costs or even void the policies of drivers involved in this offense.

The penalties (and the definition) of hit-and-run vary from state to state. In California, the crime can be an infraction, a misdemeanor, or a felony depending on whether there is property damage or bodily injury.

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