In the second of a series offering legal help to Jeju's foreign community, lawyer Moon Geon-sik examines the dos and don'ts for motorists involved in a collision.
▲ Moon Geon-sik offers legal advice to Jeju's foreign community - Photo by Moon Geon-sik
There is a saying, ‘One law for the rich and another for the poor’, which tells us that money can change the situation.
There are some cases when, with knowledge too, you can be innocent - so please pay attention to my words. It doesn’t cost at all.
One day, a grandma selling groceries at the market was on her way home in her car. It was a narrow road with cars parked each side of the road. Suddenly, a small boy jumped out in front of her vehicle. She couldn’t stop in time and the car struck him.
The grandma stopped the car, got out and ran over to the boy, apologising. But when she looked at him, he appeared okay so she sent him home.
Unfortunately, the boy was later diagnosed with an injury from which it would take four weeks to recover. The boy’s parents called the police to trace the grandma, who was later found and arrested by officers.
Sadly, the grandma shall be subject to the Act on the Aggravated Punishment (article 5-3, hit and run vehicle) because she caused a traffic accident and ran away without taking the necessary steps, such as aiding a victim.
Her driver’s license may be revoked by the commissioner of a district police agency.
She shall not obtain a driver’s license until four years from the date the driver’s license is revoked. (Road traffic act. article 82, article 93.) Without driving a car, she could damage her own grocery business.
But what should have been done in this situation?
Firstly, even though he looked fine after being struck by the vehicle, she should have given first-aid treatment to the boy. Then he should have been taken to hospital.
Second, you shouldn’t just leave the scene. You must give your contact information to the boy or his parents. If you do this, you will not receive criminal penalties and your driver’s license will not be cancelled.
Under precedent, if you don’t give your contact information to the victim or the victim doesn’t know your contact information because you didn’t give it to them, the police will think that you run away.
If you are covered by comprehensive insurance (provided it’s not a traffic violation), even if you caused an accident, you shall not be prosecuted. (Act on special cases concerning the settlement of traffic accidents. article 4.)
ⓒ Jeju Weekly 2009 (http://www.jejuweekly.com)
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