ACCIDENTS INVOLVING DEATH OR PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER IN PA
Accidents Involving Death or Personal Injury in Pennsylvania is also referred to as a Hit and Run With Injury offense. This is a serious charge that will require the skilled legal services of a qualified criminal defense attorney.
Accidents Involving Death or Personal Injury Defined
Under Section 3742 of the PA Motor Vehicle Code, the driver of any vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury or death of any person shall immediately stop the vehicle at the scene of the accident or as close thereto as possible but shall then forthwith return to and in every event shall remain at the scene of the accident until he has provided information and aid as required by Section 3744 of the PA Motor Vehicle Code.
This textbook definition of the law may be confusing for those not familiar with the law. Essentially, the government must prove the following:
- The person charged was driving a vehicle and knew or should have known that an accident resulting in injury or death occurred;
- The driver failed to stop and remain at the scene; and
- The driver violated his or her duty to give information, which requires the driver to give the other party or an on-scene police officer his or her name, address, registration and proof of insurance, if requested OR the driver failed to report the accident to the nearest police station;
- The driver violated his or her duty to render aid, by failing to provide reasonable assistance to any person injured in the accident, including making arrangements to secure medical treatment if necessary.
How serious are my Accident Involving Death or Bodily Injury charges?
The grading of a Hit & Run With Injury charge depends on the severity of injury involved, as follows:
- Bodily Injury: 1st Degree Misdemeanor carrying no mandatory minimum sentence, with maximum sentence of up to 5 years an a fine of up to $10,000
- Serious Bodily Injury: If a person suffered serious bodily injury, the grading increases to a 3rd Degree Felony, carrying a 90-day mandatory miminium jail sentence, mandatory fine of $1,000, and a maximum sentence of up to 7 years and a $15,000 fine. Serious bodily injury includes any injury that created a substantial risk of death, permanent disfigurement, or a long-term impairment of an organ or body part.
Death: If a person dies, the grading increases to a 2nd Degree Felony punishable by a mandatory minimum jail sentence of 3 years and a mandatory minimum $2,500 fine, with a maximum sentence of up to 10 years and a $25,000 fine.
Defending your Accident Involving Death or Bodily Injury Offenses
Typically, defending a Hit and Run with Injury offense involves disputing the identity of the driver, contesting that the accused had knowledge of an accident or injury, or that the driver failed to abide by his or her duty to provide information and render aid.
However, in cases where the evidence is strong, it may be possible to resolve your case without a conviction through agreements negotiated at the Magisterial District Court.
If you are charged in Pittsburgh or Western Pennsylvania with this offense, call the Zuckerman Law Firm today at 412-447-5580 to speak with a former vehicle crimes prosecutor. The initial telephone consultation is free and confidential.