A car crash is bad enough. If you find yourself looking for the vehicle that hit you, the situation may feel hopeless. Some drivers panic when they cause an accident, and they decide to leave the scene. In Connecticut, the laws call this poor reaction evading responsibility. Find out what this means and the consequences that the guilty party may face.

Hit and run defined

Connecticut statutes are clear about what evading responsibility entails. Any person who operates a vehicle, gets in a crash and leaves the accident scene without calling the police or giving identifying information to the other driver is evading responsibility. The qualifying act is that the guilty driver must know that he or she was in an accident that caused damage. Some people may claim they did not realize that there was a crash, and in some instances, this reasoning may work. However, for the majority of those who hit and run, the charge of evading responsibility is valid.

Penalties for leaving the scene

The repercussions for a driver leaving a crash site vary depending on the severity of the accident. If a driver strikes a pedestrian, there is a higher likelihood of death. In this case, if a driver flees and does not help the victim by calling for help, the law may classify the act as a felony. Under a felony evading responsibility, the driver may face a sentence of up to 10 years. A misdemeanor charge may net a person one year in prison and fines of $600. The way the state charges a driver depends on the type of crash and damage.

A hit and run accident may cause far more damage than stopping and facing the music. Drivers who let panic take over risk losing much more than they would by staying at the scene.