Unfortunately, car accidents occur every day, with several reported every hour in California. No matter how cautious we may be behind the wheel, there will always be situations in which the recklessness and negligence of third parties can put us at risk. Precisely for this reason, knowing in which situations you can take legal action and obtain compensation for damages suffered in an accident is important. Some of the situations that turn a traffic accident into a crime include:
- Driving under the influence of substances: given the proportion of accidents of this type that result in serious injuries or death of those affected, drivers under the influence of alcohol who cause accidents face severe sentences, including prison sentences, probation, fines, license suspension, etc.
- Hit and run: Drivers involved in hit-and-run accidents face heavy fines and up to 15 years behind bars. Victims of these incidents may have to pay their medical bills and find a way to recover their damages, which can be difficult without the help of an experienced car accident attorney.
- Accidents caused by reckless driving: Those reckless drivers who cause accidents that result in injury or property damage are more likely to be charged with a criminal offense. Some examples of reckless driving include speeding, ignoring traffic signs, dangerously weaving in and out of traffic, etc.
- Vehicular homicide: this type of homicide occurs when a driver’s negligence at the wheel causes the death of a third party. Depending on the facts surrounding the case, vehicular manslaughter can result in misdemeanor charges (commonly associated with minor negligence) or felony charges (if malfeasance or a higher degree of negligent driving is determined).
- Accidents caused while a suspect is fleeing from the police: In most cases, fleeing from the police will lead to criminal charges. These can be aggravated if a driver causes other types of damage while trying to escape authorities.