Catholic Bishop Makes Headlines for Hit & Run while Driving Drunk

by ShelbyW on May 8, 2013

Bishop Robert McManus of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Worcester, Massachusetts, was arrested on May 4, 2013, for a DUI and a hit-and-run. The other driver followed McManus and called the police to make sure that he was brought to justice. The Bishop stated that the incident was the result of drinking wine with dinner, and he has shown remorse and the desire to face up to the legal consequences.

Incidents such as this one send a big ripple through the church community because religious leaders are held to a high standard. However, McManus’ current legal issues and complete lack of proper judgment illustrate the fact that no one is impervious to the effects of alcohol.

Victims of Hit-and-Run Accidents

If you are the victim of a hit-and-run, it can be very difficult to receive assistance for your injuries and vehicle damage. After all, if the other driver is not identified, there will be no way to sue them or their insurance company. This is one of the many reasons that law enforcement officials and judges tend to view a hit-and-run as an extremely cowardly act.

On the plus side, this viewpoint will cause the responsible party to face serious legal consequences if they are caught. For example, if a driver flees the scene of an accident in New York, they could receive a fine ranging from $250 to $5,000 depending on the severity of the incident, and they could also be sentenced to 15 days or more in prison.

Dealing with a Hit-and-Run Accident

In order to help the police identify the other driver, it is important to pay close attention during the aftermath of the accident. After all, if you are able to memorize even part of the license plate and get a description of the vehicle, it will become much easier for the police to arrest the responsible party.  If you are unable to get a useful description, you should ask any witnesses at the scene if they saw anything helpful.

It is also important to follow all of the standard accident procedures such as immediately contacting the police and, if applicable, filing a claim with your insurance company. Anyone who is injured in a hit and run should also quickly contact an experienced attorney.  As the website of a well-known Syracuse New York personal injury attorney warns, “You may have as few as 30 days to file appropriate paperwork to protect your rights.”

What Should I do if I Left the Scene?

If you hit another driver and flee the scene for any reason, it is imperative to turn back around immediately. It is extremely important to find out if anyone has been injured and is in need of immediate medical attention. Who knows? If you return to the scene quickly enough, the other driver might even agree not to tell the police that it was a hit-and-run.

However, even if you do end up charged with a hit-and-run, you might be able to get some leniency from the judge because you decided to do the right thing. If too much time has passed to simply return to the scene, you should go to the police station and turn yourself in. Again, taking personal responsibility for the accident is the best way to avoid going to jail and paying the maximum fine.

Some hit-and-run accidents can cause serious injuries and even fatalities. If you are injured as the result of another driver’s negligence, you should contact a personal injury attorney for assistance. Once the responsible party is identified by the police, you will have the opportunity to sue them for your injuries and the damage to your vehicle.

Legal researcher Shelby Warden shares this information to raise awareness of serious legal issues in our nation. The Syracuse New York personal injury attorney practice of Bottar Leone, PLLC is limited to severe and complex personal injury claims.  Since serious injuries require serious legal counsel, their trial-ready attorneys prosecute every case as through it will go to trial.

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