A hit-and-run is a serious crime. This incident occurs when a driver deserts the scene of an accident before the police arrive. In other words, he or she does not provide his or her contact information. For instance, if you are rear-ended by another vehicle, the driver is expected to stop. Driving away constitutes a hit and run. Also, if your car is parked and is hit, the other driver must offer “reasonable assistance.” He or she must leave a note that includes identification. It is essential to understand that hit and run is not defined by the person at fault. Even if the accident was not your fault, you must not leave the scene without contacting the other person.
How to Proceed if You are a Hit-and-Run Victim?
According to AAA, hit-and-run cases are on the rise. They can be very serious. In fact, over 2,000 people are killed each year from these accidents. Although you may be confused and hurt after an incident, you must seek medical attention and try to gather as much information as possible. Also, you should remain in contact with your insurance company and the police.
What to do at the Scene
If you have been the victim of a hit-and-run, you should immediately get your vehicle to a safe location. You should check for injuries as well. You should call 9-1-1 so that medical help arrives. The police will be notified as well. The police will ask about the details of the accident.
- Description of the other person’s vehicle, including any identifying marks
- The runaway car’s license plate
- Description of the other driver
- Crash circumstances
If you are not harmed, you should attempt to collect evidence. For instance, you may notice a piece of the other person’s car left behind. Also, you may gather witnesses. If possible, you should take pictures of the scene.
What to do After the Accident
- Seek Medical Treatment- The most important thing is your health. After any type of car accident, you must seek medical attention. Even if you have minor injuries, it is essential to be checked. This is important when you file a personal injury claim. A medical professional will document any problems or injuries.
- File an Insurance Claim- After an accident, you should contact your insurance provider. You should give all details that involve the accident. Normally, the guilty party is responsible for the damages. However, until the other driver can be identified, you will need to use your uninsured/underinsured coverage for your property damage.
- Contact a Qualified Personal Injury Attorney- It is crucial to file a personal injury claim when you have been involved in a hit-and-run. You should never settle any insurance agreement without consulting with a trusted lawyer.
How a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help with Your Hit-and-Run Case
Is it essential to have a trusted hit-and-run lawyer on your side, especially if you have incurred major damage or injuries. Having an attorney with experience will help protect your rights and help you receive the compensation that you deserve. The team at Dash Law is ready and willing to assist. Working with a law firm that specializes in personal injury cases brings a number of benefits including:
- Help Tracking Down the Driver- It is important to locate the person who is responsible for a hit-and-run accident. This party has the responsibility to pay for all damages and medical expenses that are linked to the incident. A trained attorney can help track down the driver so that his or her client is properly compensated. A member of the Dash law team will use all available evidence to find the guilty driver. For instance, this individual will use witness testimony, traffic camera footage, and other means of identifying the responsible person. Also, a lawyer will help with filing all paperwork as well.
- Help Dealing with Insurance Companies- An individual has 24 hours to file a police report after a hit-and-run accident in order to receive compensation from an uninsured motorist claim. If the accident resulted in injury, property damage, or death, it must be reported to the DMV within 10 days as well. As previously discussed, when the guilty party flees the scene, the other person must receive compensation from the uninsured motorist coverage. A lawyer will advise the best way to proceed according to individual policies and will not let insurance companies settle for less than a client deserves.
Misdemeanor Versus Felony
- Felony Hit-and-Run- Certain hit-and-run cases are felonies. This happens when an individual has been injured in an accident. The injury may occur to another driver or pedestrian. In states like California, this type of crime carries penalties of up to three years in prison and a fine between $1,000 and $10,000. When a death occurs, the maximum punishment is imposed. An attorney understands these rules and will prosecute to receive justice.
- Misdemeanor Hit-and-Run- A misdemeanor hit-and-run occurs when the guilty party flees the scene of an accident that solely caused property damage. For example, a person may hit another vehicle, a fence, a mailbox, a home, or something similar. No matter the cost of the property, the guilty driver has the responsibility to stop and exchange information with the owner. The punishment for this type of crime is less severe than for a felony. Maximum punishment includes probation, a fine under $1,000, or up to six months in prison.
Work with Dash Law
Hit-and-run cases can be complicated to fight, especially without legal assistance. At Dash Law, we have offices in Washington D.C. and California. We understand the laws and are ready to help you receive justice. If you or your property has been harmed, our team will get to work, gather evidence, and help identify the guilty party. We compassionately lead clients through the process of filing a lawsuit. Also, we work tirelessly to achieve positive results. For a consultation, call us today.