Will You Go To Jail For A Car Accident?
If you drive negligently and cause another driver to suffer injuries, you can be held liable financially to compensate them. Although it is unlikely to be charged with a jail sentence after causing a car accident, certain scenarios may lead to imprisonment.
It is essential to consult a Fort Wayne car crash lawyer if you have been in a car accident to assess your case and help you understand the possible legal consequences you may face.
- Hit and Run accident.
When you are the driver whose negligence led to the accident, you may let fear overtake you and flee the accident site. Such an incident is referred to as a hit-and-run accident when the driver intentionally leaves the scene without stopping and leaving their contact information. Each state has different laws regarding penalties for a hit-and-run crime. If you are convicted of a hit and run in Indiana, you may have to serve up to a year in jail.
- Driving under the influence.
It is unlawful to drive after consuming alcohol or drugs. These substances can impair your cognitive abilities and lead to reckless driving that can cause accidents. In Indiana, a first-time offense can result in imprisonment of up to one year, a second offense can be punished with jail time from 5 days up to 2.5 years, and a third offense can result in prison time of 10 days up to 2.5 years.
- Vehicular homicide.
If you have unintentionally caused someone’s death while driving because of reasons such as violating traffic guidelines, you can be charged with vehicular manslaughter. Conviction in Indiana can result in prison time of one to six years.
What steps should you take if you were in a car accident and at fault?
It is essential to check for injuries first. Stop at the site after an accident and do not try to run away. Call the police to file a report about the incident and exchange contact and insurance details with the other driver. Immediately tell your insurance company about the accident and call your car crash lawyer. Do not answer any questions, admit fault, discuss the accident details with other people, and let your lawyer carry out any communication and negotiation.
Being charged with a prison sentence can lead to drastic consequences on your life. Along with jail time, you may have to face other penalties, such as paying heavy fines and having your driver’s license suspended. The presence of a lawyer knowledgeable about car accident laws and how they affect you can help you make well-informed legal decisions.