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What you should know about hit and runs

Although a hit and run is usually referred to as a type of accident, it is actually the action of the driver when he or she leaves the scene that is considered the true violation. A hit and run violation may involve everything from striking a pedestrian with a vehicle to hitting another vehicle or even striking a fixed object such as a fence or gas pump.

Interestingly, while you may think that a hit and run is actually an instant admission of guilt, the legal definition of the violation doesn't actually include that the person is at fault for the accident. Instead, the law was broken when the driver leaves the scene of an accident they are involved in, regardless of whether or not they are actually the one who caused it.

To avoid the potential of being charged with a hit and run, Wisconsin law states that a driver must stop their vehicle after they have been involved in an accident and offer aid to any injured party who may need it. They must also identify themselves to anyone else involved in the accident as well as provide them with any prudent information, such as the individual's address, insurance and registration information of the vehicle they were driving.

One important factor to note, however, is that there is an exception to this requirement. A person is allowed to temporarily leave the scene of the accident if it is necessary to get some type of emergency help.

Individuals who have been the victim of a hit and run may be entitled to compensation for their injuries or loss and could benefit from learning more about their legal rights.

Source: FindLaw, "Leaving the Scene of an Accident/Hit and Run: State Laws," accessed April. 02, 2015

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