A “hit-and-run” refers to an act where the driver who caused the accident just droves away and leaves without stopping to identify himself/herself or rendering assistance to the victims involved.
Why Do Drivers Flee After an Accident?
So why do hit-and-run happen? There can be many reasons why a person flees from an accident which includes:
Lack of character;
Lack of empathy;
Bad driving record;
Fear of the consequences;
They are wanted for criminal activity;
Maybe the driver has no license;
Fear of intimidation; etc.
Whatever reasons the driver may have for fleeing the accident, “hit-and-run” is punishable by the law. If you escape from an accident, you’ll be facing multiple charges, hefty fines, and possible incarceration.
Legal Actions To Take If You’ve Been in a Hit-and-Run
There are a couple of legal actions you can take if you are involved in this type of accident.
1. Actions to take after the accident
If a hit-and-run driver has hit you, you must act quickly and do the following things if possible:
Identify the other vehicle immediately. Make a note of the description of the vehicle that drove away especially its make, color, model, type or any distinguishable factor that may help you find the car later on.
Gather as many details as you can about the accident such as the location of the accident, time, and the direction that the other vehicle drove away.
Collect the names of other victims as well as their witnesses Take into account their side of the accident and their description of the vehicle that drove away.
Call the local authorities to file a police report.
Take pictures of the location of the accident and the damage to your vehicle or property.
Try to find video footage of the hit-and-run accident and the vehicle that fled from the businesses and homes around the area.
All these information will help the police in identifying and locating the vehicle that drove away.
2. Finding the hit-and-run driver
Using the information you’ve gathered from the scene of the accident and witnesses, the local or state police will do everything they can to identify and locate the hit-and-run driver.
Most of the time though, hit-and-run drivers are usually left unpunished because the authorities didn’t manage to identify or locate them.
3. Notify your insurance company about the hit-and-run accident.
If the hit-and-driver is nowhere to be found, you will have to contact your insurance company to recoup expenses. You can use the uninsured motorist coverage from your car insurance company to cover your hit-and-run accident. These are the types of insurance coverage where you can receive compensation after the accident.
Uninsured motorist bodily injury – You can use this to pay for medical expenses of a hit-and-run accident.
Uninsured motorist property damage – You can this to cover the damages to your vehicle or property.
It’s important to note though not all car insurance companies offer these types of insurance coverage.
4. Filing a hit-and-run accident claim
There are a couple of options you can choose to file a hit-and-run accident claim.
If you can identify and locate the hit-and-run driver, you may be able to file a claim with their insurance company to cover your medical expenses and property damage.
If the hit-and-run driver is uninsured, you may get your compensation with the help of a qualified attorney to bring your claim to the court.
If the hit-and-run driver is nowhere to be found, or if the hit-and-run driver does not have enough insurance coverage to recoup your expenses, you may file a claim with your own insurance company through your uninsured motorist coverage.
5. Contact an attorney
An experienced attorney with ample knowledge about hit-and-run accidents can help you a lot in pursuing your claim. A car accident attorney will advise you how to file an insurance claim or how to pursue a personal injury lawsuit.
Your car accident attorney will manage everything about your insurance claim or lawsuit. They can make further investigations and look for much better compensation. Your attorney will always have your best interests in their mind, and they will stop your insurers to take advantage of you.
Hit-and-run accidents are one of the worst types of accidents because oftentimes you don’t have someone to be legally responsible for it. Hit-and-run drivers often go unpunished, and the victims will be left paying for the damages by themselves. We hope that these tips will help you in the event you are involved in this type of accident.
Note: This article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as legal advice. For real legal advice regarding hit-and-run, you may contact a car accident attorney or talk to a personal injury lawyer to know what further legal actions you can take.
Author Bio: Vicki is a law writing enthusiast who’s had over 25 years of experience in her field. She enjoys sharing her experiences with those who want to learn more about the legal world. In her spare time she spends quality time with her family and friends.