Leaving the Scene of a Car Accident in Buffalo, NY

Leaving the scene after a car accident in Buffalo, NY can have some jarring consequences that you should be aware of. It can also be referred to as “Hit and run”. It happens when you leave the area of accident intentionally after hitting someone without waiting for the proper authorities to arrive. Also, you need to collect insurance information and contact details but due to your escape, you will be unable to perform these tasks.

If you are moving your vehicle to a safe location after an accident, this does not mean that you are fleeing the scene. After being involved in an accident, make sure that no one got injured. Your second priority should always be to move your vehicle and yourself to any nearby safe location. There are no state laws prohibiting this act.

According to the data from New York Police Department, there were a total of 277,971 traffic accidents in 2018. However, in 2019, 206,754 collisions were recorded. The collisions declined to 46% in 2020 due to the countrywide lockdown.

Is Escaping from the Scene of an Accident a Crime?

You cannot leave the scene of the accident because it is illegal and you can be charged with a severe range of penalties. However, penalties depend on the seriousness of the incident.

  • If you hit an unoccupied vehicle and you caused damage to that vehicle but no one got injured, leaving the scene will be considered a minor offense rather than a serious felony. You might get fined up to $300 or you might be jailed for about ninety days.
  • Your hit-and-run situation will be considered a first-degree felony if someone was in the vehicle that you hit but no one got injured. This means that you can get fined up to $2,500 and one year in jail.
  • If you leave the scene of an accident where someone got injured because of you, it will be considered a third-degree felony. For this felony, you will be fined about $1,000 and you might end up in jail for a mandatory period of 90 days that can be stretched up to seven years by a judge.
  • If someone died because of a car accident in Buffalo, NY which is caused by you, escaping the scene would also be considered a third-degree felony. You will be fined about $2,500 and one year in jail, but this period can also be extended to seven years.

These sanctions relate exclusively to the offense of leaving the premises. Other felonies such as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol or escaping a police officer are crimes that may also be prosecuted. Apart from paying the fine for hit and run situation, you also have to pay for the damages that you have caused. The victim may file a personal injury claim against you for which you have to compensate them for the pain and suffering they have sustained.

What Are the Penalties for Leaving the Scene of a Car Accident in Buffalo, NY?

  • Fines:

If you leave the scene of the collision and no one got injured, you will be fined $0 to $250, only for the property that you damaged. If someone got injured, you will have to pay a fine of $250 to $5,000, depending on how severe the injuries are.

  • Supplement:

When there is little or no injury, New York has a mandatory fee from $88 to $93 that you have to pay in case you have fled the scene.

  • Points:

3 points will be credited to a driver’s records if they are found guilty for leaving the scene after hitting someone and if someone may or may not get injured.

  • Prison:

If you leave the scene of the accident, you might be jailed for up to 15 days if nobody was harmed. Also, if you refuse to provide your insurance information and leave the scene, you can be jailed for up to 3 months or even a year.

  • Criminal Record:

After leaving the scene of an accident you, will have a permanent criminal record. This is going to adversely impact various aspects of your life.

Protect Your Legal Rights:

If you are involved in a car accident in Buffalo, NY or you are charged with a hit and run, we will help you defend yourself. We will also fight your battle if you or any of your loved ones have been a victim. Our experienced lawyers will guide you and help you throughout the whole process. Call us if you want to protect your rights and let us schedule a complimentary consultation session for you.