Are you the victim of a hit-and-run accident? It is against the law to leave the scene of an accident. Unfortunately, it happens frequently and leaves the other vehicle to clean up the mess left behind. You don’t have to pay for all of the damages in a hit-and-run accident. When you hire a lawyer, you can find out who the driver is or file a claim without their information.
Why Do People Leave the Scene of a Hit-and-Run Accident?
There are many reasons why someone might drive away after hitting a vehicle. In many cases, the person has incriminating evidence on them for another crime. Or they are without insurance. Here is a list of reasons why someone may flee the scene of an accident:
- Driving while intoxicated
- Driving with a suspended license
- Have a warrant out for arrest
- Have outstanding tickets
- Driving with no insurance
- Unregistered car
- Driving a stolen car
- The driver is in shock
- Fear of repercussions
No matter the reason why someone flees the accident, you are still left to take care of the damages. So what can you do to ensure you get the most help in this situation?
Step-by-Step Guide After a Hit-and-Run
Take control of what you can after you’ve been involved in an accident where the other driver left the scene. Here are the steps to take so that you aren’t stuck paying all of the damages:
- Flag Down Any Witnesses: Even if the at-fault driver doesn’t stop at the scene of a crime, other people will likely stop. You can get all the witness accounts to find the person who is responsible for the accident. Write down their names and information so they can meet with law enforcement or your lawyer later as well.
- Contact Law Enforcement: Call the police. Make sure the accident and your account are meticulously documented. The police will work on the case and try to track down the person who fled the scene, but the help of a lawyer can also add to the success of your case.
- Make Detailed Description: Write down a detailed description of what you witnessed while it is fresh in your memory. What did the person look like? What were they wearing? What color was the car? What make and model? Were there any identifying dents or scratches on the car? Did you catch any letter or number on the license plate? Was there more than one person in the vehicle? Any answers to these questions will be vital information in tracking down the other driver.
- Hire a Lawyer: A lawyer can help you find justice in your hit-and-run case. Having a lawyer by your side will help you get information and be taken seriously by law enforcement. If you come up unsuccessful in finding the perpetrator, a lawyer can assist you with the next steps in the process.
- Check Nearby Cameras: Cameras are everywhere these days, so it is likely that the car is caught on camera even if the accident wasn’t. For example, even if there are no cameras around the scene of the accident, there may be a convenience store camera down the road. This camera could capture a video matching a car of your description as it’s turning slow enough the recognize the license plate numbers.
- Take Photos of All Damage: Take all of the pictures you can think of to document the damage done to yourself and your vehicle from the accident. Do not miss any angles. There are never too many pictures to show when it comes to documenting at the scene of a hit-and-run accident.
- Visit a Physician: Even if you feel perfectly fine, you should visit a doctor. You can experience delayed symptoms of an injury after an accident. For example, shock and adrenaline can cover up pain for a time. Or you may be experiencing internal bleeding or organ damage. An accident is a significant trauma to experience, with cars going from a steady speed to a complete stop within seconds. This impact on your body can result in ongoing complications. Visit with a doctor to document the extent of your injuries.
It is vital to go through all of these steps after a hit-and-run accident. Then, even if you don’t find the person responsible, you will know you did everything you could. In addition, your chances of finding the driver at fault will significantly increase when you have the help of a lawyer.
What If You Never Find the Other Driver?
Unfortunately, after all of the efforts from the police and your lawyer, it is possible that the driver gets away with the accident and is never found. Witness accounts can lead to a dead end. The driver could be an out-of-towner and never returns to the area to be found.
It’s not ideal, but you still have options available to you. First, you can file a claim with your insurance company, explaining the situation and selecting the option that the other driver was uninsured. A lawyer can help you with this process to ensure the insurance company takes you seriously.
Each insurance company has options for uninsured drivers, and you can still qualify for benefits so that you don’t have to pay for all of the damages alone. Work with a team of lawyers to select the best option for your situation. You can present all of your evidence, including photos, the police report, witness accounts, and your doctor’s visit.
This is why it is vital to have insurance yourself so that you can still have coverage when other people choose to flee the scene of an accident. So get started on resolving and securing payment for your hit-and-run accident today.
Call on Law Experts for Help
Our team at Gainsburgh, Benjamin, David, Meunier & Warshauer, L.L.C. can assist you with what to do after a hit-and-run accident. When you take thorough documentation and have the help of a lawyer, you can get the help you need. Give us a call to set up an initial meeting: (504) 522-2304