A car accident is always stressful and disruptive for the victim, but when the person who causes the crash flees the scene the outcome can be even more devastating. Hit and run drivers leave the victim without recourse because the victim cannot file a civil claim against them to recover compensation. If you were involved in a Boston hit and run accident, it is critical for you to understand your rights and the best way to protect yourself.
Earlier this year, Boston police identified a woman who was killed in a car accident by a hit-and-run driver. She was 57-years-old at the time of the crash. There were no witnesses to the accident and the only evidence that the police had was a blurry surveillance video suggesting that a driver in a dark-colored sedan with tinted windows caused the crash.
Massachusetts law makes it a crime to leave the scene of an accident. If the person who fled is later found, the plaintiff may be able to use evidence of the defendant’s failure to remain at the scene of the accident as evidence that he or she was negligent at the time of the accident. Specifically, M.G.L. Ch. 90 Sec. 26 requires drivers to report collisions to the police where the damage that resulted from the collision exceeds $1,000. This requirement is in force even where no one suffered an injury as a result of the crash. For someone who is caught leaving the scene of an accident. M.G.L. Ch. 90 Sec. 24 imposes a criminal penalty of 6 months to 2 years in jail. If the accident resulted in a fatality, the maximum amount of jail time increases to 10 years.