Knowingly Leaving the Scene of A Personal Injury Accident in NY is a Crime
A recently released police report of the hit and run death of Mathieu Lefvre shows that a truck driven by Leonardo Degianni hit and killed Lefevre on October 18, 2011. The police report concludes that the front driver’s tire hit the victim who was traveling on a bicycle. Lefevre was thrown from his bicycle sustaining deadly injuries.
The truck, which exhibited evidence of the accident, was found a few blocks away from the scene of accident.
When police later found Degianni, the truck driver, and questioned him about the accident, they concluded that he was unaware that he hit anybody. As a result, no charges were filed.
“There’s no criminality,” an police spokesman told Metro. “That’s why they call it an accident.”
Apparently, in this case, the driver’s defense of “I did not know” is enough for the police and District Attorney despite the strictness of New York VTL 600(2)(a).
New York VTL Law makes it illegal to leave the scene of an automobile accident without reporting. The law is divided between leaving the scene of an accident where there was property damage and where there was personal injury.
Leaving the Scene of an Accident Where there was Property Damage
New York VTL 600-1a requires the driver of an automobile who, knowing or having reason to know that property damage was caused due to a motor vehicle accident operated by the driver, to stop at the place where the damage occurred and show his license and insurance identification card for such vehicle. In addition, the driver must also provide his name, residential address, insurance carrier and insurance identification information. The above information must be presented to person who suffered the damage or if he is not present to the police. All of this must occur before leaving the scene of accident.
Violation of NY VTL 600(1)(a) is considered to be a traffic violation that is punishable with a fine up to $250 and/or a prison sentence of up to 15 days.
Leaving the Scene of an Accident Where there was Personal Injury
New York VTL 600(2)(a) mirrors the above law for property damage except that it applies to accidents where personal injury occurred. It mandates that motorists, knowing or having reason to know that personal injury was caused due to a motor vehicle accident operated by the driver, stop at the place where the damage occurred and show their license and insurance identification card for such vehicle. Likewise, VTL 600(2)(a) requires the driver to provide his name, residential address, insurance carrier and insurance identification information. The above information must be presented to the injured person and/or to the police. All of this must occur before leaving the scene of accident.
Punishment for hit and run where personal injury occurred is much more serious than an accident involving property damage. For example, if the driver causing personal injury fails show his license and insurance information than he is guilty of a class B misdemeanor with a punishment of a minimum of $250.
For violations other than failing to exhibit license and insurance details, the crime of leaving the scene of an accident where personal injury occurred is a class A misdemeanor, punishable by a minimum fine of $500 but not more than $1,000.
Leaving the scene of an accident, whether property damage or personal injury occurred, is a very serious offense because it is a crime. It is recommended that you cause an experienced NY traffic attorney as soon as possible so he can advise on all relevant issues. Email or call 888-883-5529 today.