A hit-and-run accident is a type of traffic accident where a driver hits another vehicle, pedestrian, or property, and leaves the scene of the accident without providing their contact information, insurance information, or rendering aid to the injured party. Hit-and-run accidents can be devastating, especially if the victim is left alone without any help. If you’ve been the victim of a hit-and-run accident, it’s important to know what steps to take to protect yourself and your rights.
What Constitutes a Hit-and-Run Accident?
A hit-and-run accident is defined as any accident where one driver flees without providing their contact information or rendering aid to the other party. Hit-and-run accidents can involve both property damage and bodily injury and can occur on both public and private property. In most cases, the driver who leaves the scene of the accident is breaking the law and can face serious criminal charges if caught.
What You Should Do After a Hit-and-Run Accident
If you have fallen victim to a hit-and-run accident, here are some general steps and tips to help you:
- Stay Calm and Call for Help – If you’ve been the victim of a hit-and-run accident, the first thing you should do is stay calm and call for help. If you’re injured or unable to move, try to signal for help or use your phone to call 911 or ask someone nearby to call for you.
- Gather Information – If you’re able to move and are not seriously injured, try to gather as much information about the accident as possible. Take pictures of the damage to your vehicle, the location of the accident, and any other details that could help identify the other driver. Write down any witness information, including their names and contact information.
- Contact the Police – It’s important to contact the police as soon as possible after a hit-and-run accident. The police can help investigate the accident and gather evidence, which can be helpful in identifying the other driver. They can also file a report, which can be used to support your insurance claim or any legal action you may take.
- Contact Your Insurance Company – If you have car insurance, it’s important to contact your insurance company as soon as possible after a hit-and-run accident. Your insurance company can help you file a claim and guide you through the claims process. They can also help you determine if you have coverage for hit-and-run accidents.
- Seek Medical Attention – Even if you don’t feel seriously injured, it’s important to seek medical attention after a hit-and-run accident. Some injuries, such as whiplash or concussions, may not be immediately apparent. It’s important to document any injuries you sustain, as this can be helpful in supporting any legal or insurance claims.
Frequently Asked Questions:
- What should I do if I witness a hit-and-run accident?
- If you witness a hit-and-run accident, try to gather as much information as possible, such as the license plate number, make and model of the vehicle, and a description of the driver. Call 911 immediately and report the accident, providing as much detail as possible. Do not try to follow the other driver or confront them, as this can put you in danger.
- What happens if the driver who caused the hit-and-run accident is never caught?
- If the driver who caused the hit-and-run accident is never caught, you may still be able to file a claim with your insurance company. Many insurance policies have coverage for hit-and-run accidents, which can help cover the cost of repairs and medical bills. However, if you are not carrying the right insurance coverage, it can be difficult to recover compensation. Clarify the extent of your coverage before something terrible happens to enjoy more peace of mind.
- Can I sue the other driver if they are caught after a hit-and-run accident?
- Yes, if the other driver is caught, you may be able to file a lawsuit against them to recover damages. In addition to the criminal charges, they may face for leaving the scene of the accident, they may also be liable for any injuries or property damage they caused. A car accident attorney can help guide you through the process of filing a lawsuit.
- What are the criminal penalties for a hit-and-run accident?
- The criminal penalties for a hit-and-run accident can vary depending on the severity of the accident and the state where it occurred. In most states, leaving the scene of an accident is a criminal offense and can result in fines, license suspension, and even jail time. If the accident resulted in serious injury or death, the penalties can be much more severe.
Trial-Tested Attorneys Ready to Serve You
Hit-and-run accidents can be devastating for victims. If you’ve been the victim of a hit-and-run accident, it’s important to stay calm, gather information, contact the police and your insurance company, and seek medical attention. The Personal Injury team at McCune Law Group has built a reputation for successfully taking on the most challenging and serious car accident cases, winning numerous multimillion-dollar settlements and verdicts in the process, including an $11 million car accident settlement and a $5.5 million recovery in connection with a van rollover accident.
To learn more about hit-and-run accidents, contact our Personal Injury team today by completing the form or calling (909) 345-8110 today for a free consultation!