I came across this interesting and emotional article on the subject of hit-and-run accidents written by Long Island blogger, Curtis Jackson. He talks about how hit-and-run accidents occur and why people choose not to take responsibility about it. He wonders why someone would deny their mistake and leave their victim to die on the street in a pool of their own blood. These are tough questions. But they are questions we must ask ourselves, especially as residents of Southern California, where hit-and-run accidents are unfortunately all too common.
In his blog, Jackson writes about his own experience causing an accident in the parking lot of a restaurant where he worked as a parking attendant. Apparently no one was injured, but the accident damaged another person’s car. To this day, Jackson says, he feels bad that he didn’t own up to that accident right away. He says: “I am continuously learning how important it is to admit the truth in uncomfortable circumstances before matters get worse.”
Now, that is something that can certainly happen in a hit-and-run accident, especially one where a person has been hurt or could potentially die. California law requires a motorist to stop at the scene of the accident – no matter who caused it or whose fault that accident is. California Vehicle Code section 20001 states that it is a felony when a person fails to stop at the scene of an injury accident. Again, remember that this is a duty that is imposed on anyone “involved” in an accident, not only on the person who “caused” the accident.
The people involved in the accident are required to provide their name and address and vehicle registration information to police and those involved in the accident, if asked. The involved parties must also make reasonable efforts to provide care to anyone injured in the accident. That could include calling 911 or police so that an ambulance or paramedics can come to the aid of the victim at the accident scene. Felony hit-and-run is an additional charge someone can face on top of other possible charges such as driving under the influence, speeding or other traffic violations.
Curtis Jackson is absolutely right. Hit-and-run laws are about taking responsibility for your actions/wrongdoing. When you fail to do that, things will only get progressively worse – for the perpetrators and the victims.