When a driver commits a hit-and-run accident, they leave an injured victim completely helpless. If the driver fails to contact emergency personnel to assist the victim, they may worsen the victim’s condition and cause further harm. Too often, the injuries resulting from a hit-and-run would have been preventable, or at least less severe, had the driver who caused the accident contacted police and emergency medical personnel. When a driver fails to take these steps, they may suffer consequences under both criminal and civil law.
As a recent news article reported, police arrested a man involved in a Maine hit-and-run that left one woman seriously injured. Police discovered the hit-and-run accident when they arrived at the scene to find a pedestrian lying injured near the road. She was transported to the hospital to treat her serious injuries. According to local police, the suspect allegedly contacted emergency services for the pedestrian. However, he allegedly lied to law enforcement and emergency personnel about his involvement in the hit-and-run. Eventually, police arrested this driver and charged him with failing to report an accident involving personal injury.
What Are the Civil and Criminal Penalties for a Maine Hit-and-Run Accident?
When a person commits a Maine hit-and-run, they may have to pay both criminal fines and civil damages. Under Maine law, if an accident results in property damage, the drivers must immediately stop and return to the scene of the accident. If an accident causes bodily injury, death, or significant property damage, the responsible driver must report the accident to state or local police. Failure to take these steps constitutes a Class E felony, which carries up to six months in prison time and a $1,000 fine.
In addition to these criminal penalties, a driver who commits a Maine hit-and-run may also be liable for civil damages in a negligence lawsuit. It is important to remember that civil and criminal charges are entirely separate. A driver may have to pay criminal fees, but that does not preclude a victim from suing the driver for monetary damages. A driver who commits a hit-and-run will owe an injured plaintiff damages if the jury or judge finds them liable for negligence. To do so, the plaintiff must prove it is at least 51% likely that the driver owed them a duty of care, breached that duty by failing to assist them, caused the hit-and-run that led to the plaintiff’s injuries and that the plaintiff suffered harm as a result of the hit-and-run.
Have You Been Injured in a Maine Hit-and-Run Accident?
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in a Maine hit-and-run accident, you may have a claim for relief. The attorneys at Peter Thompson & Associates possess years of experience handling complex personal injury claims throughout the New England area, including hit-and-run accidents. Our competent and dedicated representation has resulted in significant compensation for our clients. To schedule a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your case, call our office at 800-804-2004 or contact us through our website.