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Can I File Criminal Charges Against Someone Who Hit My Car?

Experienced Lawyer

If your car has been hit by another car, under normal circumstances, the accident falls under civil incidents. There is, however, some situation that could be considered as criminal where you will be able to file the relevant charges against the offending driver.

Here we will discuss what constitutes a civil case and what constitutes a criminal case as far as car accidents are concerned. Once you have the facts sorted out, you will have a better idea on how to proceed if you ever find yourself in that situation.

Car accidents that come under civil incidents

If a driver hits your car, he or she is supposed to stop and follow certain steps in keeping with the correct protocol. Contact information needs to be exchanged as well as information regarding insurance. Regardless of whether or not you have been hurt when their car hit yours, according to the law, it is the other driver’s duty to stop.

If the driver who hit your car follows all the steps that they are supposed to, then the accident can come under a civil case. There are a few exceptions to this rule however and we will detail them further under car accidents that come under criminal incidents.

Car accidents that come under criminal incidents

Under these circumstances you might be legally entitled to file criminal charges against a driver who has hit your car:

Driving under the influence (DUI): In the case of a DUI even if the other driver does stop to exchange information, they are liable for criminal charges. In all 50 states of the US, DUI is against the law. It is illegal to drive with blood alcohol levels of 0.08% or more. Finally whether or not you can file criminal charges against the driver will depend on your particular situation. If it is the first offense and the damage is not extensive, the case might not qualify for criminal charges. Repeat offenses and severe damage or death will be taken more seriously.

Hit and Run: In hit-and-runs, the diver hits your car and keeps going. As already mentioned the driver is supposed to stop after hitting another car or individual. The extent of the charges again will depend on what kinds of damage was caused, if there were any serious injuries or death, and if this was a repeat offense.

Reckless driving: Accidents caused due to reckless driving could fall under criminal incidents under certain circumstances. An example of reckless driving includes going over the speed limit especially in safe zones like near schools. In West Virginia the speed limit in school zones is 15mph and anyone is going above this limit is guilty of a misdemeanor which could result in jail time. If a driver is going over the speed limit and hits your car, you might be able to file criminal charges against them.

In all the cases mentioned each situation needs to be assessed separately. If your car has been hit by another and you need guidance on how to proceed do contact a personal injury lawyer  relies on for guidance in areas of personal injury caused by car accidents.


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