Missouri Hit and Run Laws: What happens if you leave the scene of an accident in Missouri?
- Missouri Hit and Run Laws: What happens if you leave the scene of an accident in Missouri?
- Missouri hit and run laws explained: What happens if you crash and leave the scene?
Can you be charged for leaving the scene of an accident in Missouri?
Leaving the scene of an accident in Missouri that results in property damage is a misdemeanor. The police may follow you to your home to issue a drug test. And depending on the facts presented -A hit and run may also be a felony.
Quick take: what is the penalty for leaving the scene of an accident in Missouri?
- DUI hit and run is a felony in Missouri.
- Refusing an alcohol test will result in automatic license suspension for up to one year.
- Missouri is an “at fault state”
- You have five years to file a personal injury or wrongful death claim.
Missouri hit and run laws explained: What happens if you crash and leave the scene?
In Missouri, an accident is not a crime. What is a crime is failing to immediately stop after you hit something or someone and fulfill the obligations listed in section 577.060 “leaving the scene of a motor accident.”
Note that the law expects you to remain at the scene if you know or have reason to know of your involvement in a traffic collision.
What are your legal obligations at the scene of an accident in Missouri?
According to section 577.060. If you are involved in a traffic collision, you must do the following.
- Immediately stop your vehicle at the scene or close to it without interfering with traffic more than is necessary.
- You must give your name, address, and vehicle registration number to an officer at the scene, the victim, or passenger from the struck vehicle.
Note that the statute states that you must report the accident to the nearest police station or judicial officer. It is also advisable to render reasonable assistance to anyone who may need it.
In short, an accident in Missouri becomes a crime if (1) you do not immediately stop your vehicle. (2) you do not fulfill the requirements above.
Is leaving the scene of an accident in Missouri a misdemeanor?
If you strike another vehicle or cause property damage, leaving the scene is a class A misdemeanor. Remember, section two of 577.060, requires peace officers to investigate the scene if the resulting damage surpasses $1000.
What if you hit a parked vehicle?
If you damage a parked vehicle or unattended property, state law requires that you make a reasonable effort to find the owner. If you cannot find the owner or person attending the vehicle. You may leave a note on a conspicuous section of the vehicle containing your name, address, and vehicle registration number.
What is a reportable accident in Missouri?
Any accident that results in death, injury, or property damage surpassing $500, is a “reportable accident” in Missouri. What that means is, if you are involved in an accident that fits that criterion, you must notify law enforcement and file a report.
Note. You must file a report if the other driver is uninsured.
That raises the question:
How long does a person have to file an accident report in Missouri?
According to section 303.040 of Missouri revised statutes, you must submit a report to the director within thirty days. The period may extend if you are unable to file a report because of injuries sustained during the accident.
Legal experts recommend calling the police at the scene and consulting with an attorney before you submit your report if the accident resulted in injury, death, or expensive property damage
Is leaving the scene of an accident a felony in Missouri?
Yes. There are three ways an accident in Missouri may become a felony. (1) the person struck dies. (2) you have prior hit and run records (repeat offender). (3) the victim suffered serious injury or the property damage surpassed $1000.
Missouri hit and run laws: vehicular manslaughter and homicide
In Missouri, first-degree involuntary manslaughter is a class C felony. if you had the motive to strike or kill the victim, you could be looking at homicide charges.
Leaving the scene of an accident that results in serious injury is a class D felony in Missouri.
In short, an accident in Missouri becomes a felony if it results in death or serious injuries such as disfigurement, organ loss, limb loss, and facial damage. Also, if the resulting damage surpasses $1000, the facts presented and prior convictions may escalate the crime into a felony.
Is a DUI hit and run a felony in Missouri?
Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol in Missouri may lead to criminal negligence or DUI charges. if you hit and injure a person or destroy property amounting to more than $1000, you are guilty of a class C felony, the penalty for which is upwards of seven years in prison and a maximum fine of $5000.
Note. A single set of facts could lead to multiple charges, and as mentioned, the police may follow you to your home to conduct a drug test. What if you refuse a drug test?
If you refuse to take a drug or alcohol test, the state may revoke your driving privileges for up to one year.
Upon conviction for an alcohol-related crime or if the state revokes your driver’s license, you must complete Missouri’s Substance Awareness Traffic Offender Program before you regain your driving privileges.
In Missouri, you can get a misdemeanour DUI expunged after a waiting period of 10 years (first time DUI’s only).
What is the penalty for leaving the scene of an accident in Missouri?
- Hit and run, property damage amounting to less than $1000/hitting a parked vehicle: misdemeanor, punishable by license revocation and possible jail time for up to one year.
- Hit and run, injury, or property damage exceeding $1000: class A person misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine not exceeding $2000.
- Leaving the scene of an accident resulting in great bodily injury/ defendant has priors: class D felony, up to seven years in prison, and a fine not exceeding $10000.
- First-degree involuntary manslaughter: class C felony, a maximum of ten years in prison. The state may impose a fine.
- DUI hit and run, class C felony, punishable by up to ten years in prison.
- Refusing drug or alcohol testing: license revocation for up to one year.
Note. Upon conviction, the state will suspend or revoke your driving privileges.
Missouri hit and run laws: Administrative and civil penalties
After an accident, the victim or owner of the struck property has the option of taking civil action on the grounds of negligence. You may recover compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, lost income, and so on. To prove your claim. You will need medical records or repair/replacement costs.
To increase the odds of the court ruling in your favor, you should:
- At the scene. Do not comment about your health until you consult with a doctor or medical professional. Words such as “I am okay” or words that shift blame to you, may cost you compensation.
- Check on everyone involved and offer reasonable assistance to anyone who needs it. Acts of good faith may help you avoid punitive damages.
- If the position of the vehicle endangers other motorists, you may move it if the victim did not suffer death or serious injury or if you were not transporting hazardous materials.
- Call the police and emergency services immediately and remain at the scene until you exchanged information with the other party.
- Both the struck person and the person doing the striking should collect evidence at the scene, including witness testimonies, dashcam footage of the incident, and anything that could be helpful
- Do not threaten or harm the other party. State law allows you to leave the scene of an accident if you fear that staying at the scene may result in further harm.
- Notify your insurer.
Tip: if the accident results in death, serious injury, or expensive property damage, call your attorney before you call your insurer or file a report. Also, be careful with the words you use at the scene.
How is fault determined in Missouri?
The reason you should watch what you say at the scene of an accident is, Missouri is an “at fault “state, Consequently, if the jury finds that you carry the most responsibility for the accident, you must pay for damages. The state has a “comparative fault” rule that assigns a percentage of blame for all parties involved.
What to remember
- You may file a claim with your insurer or with the at-fault drivers’ policyholder.
- Victims may file a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver.
- It is up to the court to determine who was at fault. So do not admit fault in your report or at the scene.
- Your percentage of responsibility for the accident diminishes the amount you may recover.
Missouri hit and run laws: What is the statute of limitations on personal injury?
If you are involved in an accident and suffer serious injury or property damage, you have five years -starting from the date of the accident to file a claim. What if the victim dies?
If the victim dies, you have three years to file a claim, starting from the date of death.
Leaving the scene of an accident: Possible defenses
The facts of the case determine a suitable defense. Remember, the prosecution must prove that you knew of your involvement in an accident and knowingly chose to leave the scene to avoid prosecution. To counter that, you may argue that you feared for your safety or:
- You were unaware of your involvement in an accident.
- The vehicle was not in your possession at the time of the accident (mistaken identity).
- Leaving the scene was involuntary.
- No one apart from you or someone in your vehicle suffered an injury.
- The victim refused to accept your information or acted aggressively.
We recommend contacting an attorney as soon as possible and filing your report before 30 days elapse. In short, have a good reason for leaving the scene.
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