A hit-and-run accident can leave Knoxville families with unanswered questions, hefty medical expenses and heartbreak. In the long run, a driver who leaves the scene of an accident faces severe legal reprisals. The best decision any driver can make is the responsible one: to follow the law, remain at the site of the accident and render assistance in any way possible.

Unfortunately, the driver who fatally struck a pedestrian in Knox County in mid-November opted to disappear from the scene, leaving behind a devastated family to search for answers. Law enforcement was able to identify the vehicle and the driver, whose actions only made the situation more tragic.

Knoxville drivers who end up in such a crash have several legal obligations. The driver’s first responsibility is to provide reasonable aid to injured persons. This includes requesting medical assistance when such treatment is requested by the injured party or when physician aid appears necessary.

Drivers must also report the accident to law enforcement. These days, most drivers are likely to be able to make the emergency call by cell phone, but in areas with poor coverage, it may be necessary to leave the scene to find the closest authority. No driver, however, should depart until the necessary medical assistance has been provided.

Last but not least, drivers involved in a crash are required to exchange vehicle registration and insurance information as well as driver’s license numbers, names and addresses. Failure to follow these steps can have severe consequences, particularly when one or more individuals are injured or killed in a crash. Drivers should never consider hit-and-run a viable option.