Is a Hit and Run a Felony in Philadelphia?

Regular car accidents are bad enough, but hit-and-run accidents are so much worse. Your car is a wreck, you’re hurt, and the driver who hit you is nowhere to be found.

Or perhaps you’re the driver who fled the scene of an accident. In a panic, you took off without helping the person you hit, and now you’re wondering, “Is a hit and run a felony?”

Below, learn about civil and criminal penalties for fleeing the accident scene in Philadelphia.

Fleeing the Accident Scene: Felony vs. Misdemeanor

If you’ve had a car accident, leaving the scene without providing ID and reasonable aid is always a crime. But is it a felony or a misdemeanor? That depends on whether anyone was hurt and how badly injured they are.

If nobody was injured, it’s a third-degree misdemeanor. If the other driver suffers minor injuries, the charge escalates to a first-degree misdemeanor.

The real trouble starts if someone is seriously injured or killed. Is a hit-and-run a felony in this case? Yes, and the penalties can be severe. 

Fleeing an accident scene involving serious injury is a third-degree felony. If someone died in the accident, the law can charge the driver who fled from the scene with a second-degree felony.

Legal Consequences of Fleeing the Accident Scene in Philadelphia, PA

Drivers charged with fleeing the scene of a crash will have to pay fines and may spend time in jail. Maximum penalties are outlined below:

  • Fleeing after causing property damage to an unattended vehicle: Fine of up to $300 and up to 90 days in jail
  • Fleeing after an accident that caused serious bodily injury: Fine of up to $1,000 and up to one year in jail
  • Fleeing after a fatal accident: Fine of up to $2,500 and up to 10 years in jail

Leaving the accident scene can carry civil penalties and administrative penalties as well. These include insurance policy cancellation and driver’s license suspension.

Additionally, the at-fault driver may have to pay punitive damages. A judge might order these damages to punish the driver for acting maliciously or in an especially reckless manner.

What To Do After a Car Accident

After a car accident, always stop and check on the other driver. If they’re hurt, render first aid, if possible, and call an ambulance.

Even if no one is hurt, you must stop and exchange insurance information with the other driver. You must also call the police and make a report. Don’t leave the scene until the police say it’s okay to do so.

Dependable Representation for Hit-and-Run Victims

If you’re the victim of a hit-and-run wreck, you want justice, and rightly so. Our attorneys from the Law Offices of Eric A. Shore can help you seek compensation for the at-fault driver’s failure to stop. We’ll track down the driver and hold them responsible for the damages they’ve caused you.

Still wondering, “Is a hit and run a felony?” Call our Philadelphia lawyers at 215-627-9999 for a consultation on your case now.


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