Hit-and-run auto accidents are especially devastating for victims. Not only did someone else negligently or recklessly cause the accident, but that person also avoided responsibility for damages by fleeing the scene. A hit-and-run could cause life-changing injuries without the victim being able to seek financial compensation for related medical expenses. Lawmakers in West Virginia are taking a stand against hit-and-run accidents by passing bills such as Erin’s Law, which could lead to a fine of $5,000 for perpetrators.

What is Erin’s Law?

Erin’s Law is the product of advocation by the parents of the victim after whom the law is named: Erin Keener. Erin Keener was only 21 years old when a hit-and-run driver tragically took her life. Erin was standing outside of Vincent’s Bar when an unknown driver struck her and dragged her to the bottom of the driveway, where her friends later found her. She passed away in a hospital in Morgantown three days later from serious injuries. The fatal hit-and-run accident happened in 2005 and remains unsolved.

Four years later, in 2009, lawmakers passed Erin’s Law. West Virginia Code 17C-4-1 requires all drivers involved in accidents that cause injuries or deaths to immediately stop at the scene and remain until they have completed certain requirements. The only exception is if the person leaves the scene to obtain emergency help for the injured person. Intentionally violating Erin’s Law is a misdemeanor to felony crime that can come with $1,000 to $5,000 in fines and up to five years in a state correctional facility. The penalties will depend on the severity of the victim’s injuries.

The requirements a driver must complete at the scene of a car accident are to render aid and provide information. If anyone has any injuries, the other driver involved must sufficiently render aid or reasonable assistance. This may mean carrying or driving the victim to a hospital for emergency treatment or calling 911 to request an ambulance. The driver must also remain at the scene long enough to provide his or her name, phone number, vehicle identification number, vehicle description, proof of insurance and insurance policy number to the other driver or the police.

Hit-and-Run Accident Laws in West Virginia

Under Erin’s Law, fleeing the scene without exchanging information or helping victims after a car accident is illegal in West Virginia. Crashes involving damage to any vehicle, including a parked vehicle, require a driver to stop and leave his or her information. Crashes that cause injuries also come with the requirement to render aid. Anyone who commits a hit-and-run could face serious criminal charges and consequences.

  • Bodily injury collision. Up to one year in jail and/or up to $1,000 in fines.
  • Serious bodily injury collision. One to three years in jail and a fine of up to $2,500.
  • One to five years in jail and/or up to $5,000 in fines.

In addition to these penalties, the hit-and-run driver may also lose his or her driving privileges. A hit-and-run conviction can lead to license suspension for up to one year from the date of conviction or the date of release from jail – whichever is later. A driver should assume an accident causes injuries if it involves a pedestrian, occupant ejection, crash damage that intrudes inside the cab or a vehicle leaving the roadway.

What to Do After a Hit-and-Run Accident

If another driver in West Virginia crashes into you and flees the scene, collect information such as a description of the vehicle and its license plate numbers, if possible. Call 911 to report the crash immediately. Ask for an ambulance if you have any injuries. Then, call your own auto insurance provider to seek compensation for your damages. Your uninsured motorist insurance should reimburse you for vehicle repairs and medical bills after a hit-and-run accident. Your insurance company will treat your claim as if the driver stayed at the scene but was uninsured. Contact a car accident lawyer for assistance with your hit-and-run claim.

Attorney Timothy Manchin established the Manchin Injury Law Group in 2011 after his law partner of more than 25 years became a West Virginia circuit court judge. His focus is on helping individual clients and entire families victimized by negligent acts.

  • Taylor Downs was easy to talk to (I do not speak the legal language well!) and was very upfront and honest about the entire process of my case. He kept me updated as the case progressed, and answered my relentless questions. The end result was a favorable settlement that I’m not sure could have been any better with anyone else. In short, go see Taylor if you have a case. Don’t be intimidated to go seek his help, he won’t blow your brains out with “legal speak”.


  • Being referred to Taylor was the best thing I could have asked for. Taylor and staff are very easy to talk to. I would highly recommend them to anyone.


  • If I ever have to go through it again I would definetly call Taylor right away. The group was so helpful through my situation and handled everything that needed to be done. They made a stressful situation a stress free situation. With Taylor you dont have to worry about one thing. Definietly would recomend to anyone.

    - TAYLOR G.

  • Efficient, knowledgeable, and friendly.


  • Taylor and Tim helped make a difficult moment in life, a little more bearable. Easy to communicate with and informative. I will absolutely recommend them to everyone.


  • Manchin Injury Law Group, Took care of me when I got into a car accident while I was pregnant. Very scary moment for a first time mom but thankfully Manchin Injury Law Group had my back and treated me great. They made me feel as if I was part of their family. My son is now 7 Months Old and very happy and healthy. I’m very thankful for them for helping me through everything and getting me what we deserved. I 100% would recommend them to anyone. If I ever have an accident again they will be my number 1 phone call!


  • The support given helped me to feel like I was included in my personal injury case every step of the way. I was informed about the entire process throughout. It was amazing how quick the turn around time was and I would definitely recommend Attorney Timothy J. Manchin to anyone!


  • Taylor and Kelly worked hard on my case so I didn’t have to. Thanks guys!


  • Excellent experience dealing with Manchin Injury Law. They were very responsive, professional and easy to talk to. I did my homework before I hired a lawyer after my accident and I am so glad I found Manchin Injury Law Group. If you are injured, give them a call!


  • Taylor and Tim helped make a difficult moment in life, a little more bearable. Easy to communicate with and informative. I will absolutely recommend them to everyone.


  • Kelly and Taylor did all the hard work so that I didn’t have to. They both cared about my circumstance and got me a nice settlement. Taylor knows what he is doing and I felt comfortable with my case in his hands.


  • Great lawyers. They helped me with a West Virginia case.


  • Such a great experience with Taylor and this firm. Thankful for their diligence and their work on our case. Thank you to all!


  • Had a easy and smooth experience with a great attorney so when you go there make sure you ask for Taylor.


  • My experience at the Manchin Injury Law Group was extremely positive, and I would recommend them to anyone who needs a compassionate and experienced lawyer on their side.


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