In Louisiana, hit and run laws address the legal obligations of individuals involved in vehicle crashes. The law requires drivers involved in crashes to stop immediately at the scene, provide their name, address, and vehicle registration number to any other involved party, and render reasonable assistance to anyone injured in the crash. Additionally, if the crash involves injury or death, drivers must also provide aid or summon medical assistance as needed.
What Happens If A Driver Runs?
Failure to fulfill these obligations constitutes a hit and run offense, which can result in serious legal consequences. Penalties for hit and run offenses in Louisiana vary depending on the severity of the accident and whether it resulted in injury or death. In cases involving injury or death, hit and run can be classified as a felony, carrying potential imprisonment, fines, and license suspension or revocation.
Misdemeanor hit and runs, those where the victim does not have serious injuries or the need for immediate medical care, can be either or both a fine of up to $500 and jail time of up to 6 months. Felony hit and runs occur when there is serious bodily injury or death and fleeing the scene endangered the health of the victim. To be a felony, the driver must have known that they were in or caused the crash and should know that the victim was seriously injured or had died as a result of the crash. The fines for a felony hit and run can be jail time of up to 10 years and/or a fine of up to $5,000.
Remember, Louisiana law requires drivers to report crashes to law enforcement. Failure to report such accidents can also lead to legal penalties.
Do I Have A Claim Against the Driver Who Fled?
If that driver caused the crash, YES! Sometimes it is hard to find the driver who leaves the scene of a crash and that is why taking photos, video, and capturing any other evidence is key in helping law enforcement locate the fleeing driver. Vehicle make, model, color, size, and any description are very useful, but nothing is better than photos or videos that capture these details and hopefully a license plate number as well. I addition to economic and non-economic damages, punitive damages may apply.
In summary, Louisiana hit and run laws emphasize the importance of taking responsibility for one’s actions after a crash, aiding those in need, and complying with reporting requirements to ensure accountability and public safety on the roads. To learn more, give us a call to discuss your legal rights.