MercuryNews.com reports that a man accused of helping his wife flee the scene of a fatal hit and run car accident in Los Angeles has pleaded not guilty to charges of leaving the scene of an accident. The accident claimed the life of a USC student and severely injured another college student.
In California, drivers have a duty to remain at the scene of a serious car accident. Unfortunately, some drivers assume that fleeing the scene can help them avoid responsibility for their actions. Nothing could be further from the truth, especially in a car accident that injures or kills a pedestrian. The police take these issues very seriously. The official police search for the at-fault driver is often aided by an outraged public who rightly see a hit and run pedestrian accident as a threat to a civilized and just society.
Fleeing the scene of a fatal accident is a felony criminal offense. A successful criminal conviction on felony leaving the scene of an accident charges can severely harm the at-fault driver’s chances in a civil suit brought on behalf of a fatally injured driver or pedestrian. The act of leaving the scene can also play into the hands of a personal injury attorney, especially if the case is heard before a jury.