Experiencing a hit-and-run accident can be deeply distressing. Apart from the injuries suffered, the emotional impact of being abandoned by a person responsible for the incident can be overwhelming. If you find yourself injured in such a situation, there are avenues to you that can help you seek compensation for your losses.
An experienced car accident lawyer can help guide you through the elaborate legal process of filing compensation claims and holding the guilty party accountable. They can also offer emotional support, empathy, and clarity when you’re at your most vulnerable. Meanwhile, it’s always a good idea to have a thorough understanding of the basic steps to take if you’re involved in a hit-and-run incident.
Understanding Hit-and-Run Accidents
A hit-and-run accident occurs when a driver involved in an incident leaves the scene without exchanging information with the injured party or notifying emergency services. Such accidents can involve vehicles, pedestrians, bicyclists, or motorcyclists. The fleeing driver often does so out of fear of charges or financial liability resulting from their actions.
What To Do After Being Involved in a Hit-and-Run Incident
The first step you should take after being involved in a road incident is to contact law enforcement. It’s important to do this before attempting anything, such as chasing down the person who caused the incident. Instead, rely on traffic cameras that could provide assistance in capturing license plate data. This information can help investigators find those responsible for the incident based on the footage.
When any crash happens, it’s crucial to talk with your insurance representative, even if it was a faulty incident. This is especially important during rush hour commuting conditions when many drivers tend to leave roadside accidents behind due to concerns about traffic complications and future blame. Reporting near-misses can potentially prevent the harm from escalating out of control.
If the responsible party in a hit-and-run accident has not been caught days or weeks later, you have the right to initiate action through a personal injury lawsuit. This civil court proceeding aims to seek compensation for the losses suffered due to the actions of the hit-and-run driver. If no contact information was exchanged during the incident, make sure to follow law enforcement directions and procedures before considering litigation.
Lastly, it’s worth considering whether you should hire representation for your case. Insurance companies often have dedicated teams that focus on disputing claims. They employ clever tactics and may present settlement offers to avoid paying out for incidents like hit and runs. This is because they want to prevent attempts where reckless drivers collude with others to make fictitious injury claims and shift the blame onto innocent parties involved.
If you’ve been involved in an accident caused by a hit and run, hiring a lawyer who specializes in representing victims can help navigate the complexities of cases. These lawyers have experience dealing with insurance company representatives and can ensure both parties provide their perspectives and evidence-based practices based on data analysis are followed. This helps determine the responsibilities of each party involved.
Things Not To Do After a Hit-and-Run Accident
Just like it is important to know about the legal options available to pursue compensation after a hit-and-run accident, it is also necessary to know what to avoid doing in order to ensure fair redressal:
- Do not try to pursue the at-fault driver yourself: When you encounter a hit-and-run accident, you must let the concerned authorities do their jobs. Do not try to pursue or apprehend the driver responsible for the crash by yourself, leaving the scene of the accident. This might end up damaging your case if litigation is necessary later on, not to mention the many risks and safety concerns involved. Simply focus on documenting the evidence you can at the site of the crash.
- Do not continue waiting in the traffic lane: Unless the accident has left you immobile or unable to move safely, do not keep waiting amidst the busy traffic. Get out of the traffic lane as soon as possible and move to the side of the road, taking care not to aggravate any injuries you might have suffered. If your car is still functional and has no high-risk issues like leaking fuel, please try to move it to the side of the road as well. If not, move away from the crashed car and wait for the authorities to arrive.
- Do not leave the scene of the accident by yourself: If the accident you encountered has not left you with any major injuries, You may be tempted to move on without informing the authorities or contacting emergency services. However, this can be very detrimental for you if the case comes up in court later and could result in anything from lost damages to even penal charges due to a lack of verifiable evidence to prove culpability. You may leave the site if you’ve had a serious injury and need medical attention immediately. But in such cases, it’s best to inform the medical authorities and the police of everything that has happened as soon as possible.
- Do not block traffic while waiting for the police: Tempers do tend to flare up in case of an accident resulting from someone’s negligence or indifference. However, blocking traffic and getting into an argument or even a fight with the responsible drivers can be extremely risky, especially on busy lanes. Furthermore, it also causes inconvenience to the rest of the drivers by compounding the traffic blockade and, in extreme cases, may lead to additional crashes as well.
Facing a hit-and-run incident can be emotionally challenging, especially when there are injuries involved. It’s crucial to take action by following the necessary steps, such as staying at the scene after causing an accident and waiting for law enforcement officials to arrive. Reporting any misses or minor traffic incidents is also important as it can lead to legal action later on, even if it happens within busy commuting seasons or months down the line.
If you’re looking for compensation for your losses, it would be beneficial to reach out to an attorney. They can provide guidance in navigating the proceedings and help establish fault with ample evidence gathered from safety monitoring resources. These resources are available along sections of highways that serve populations in cities and towns across the country. Whether you need assistance or have questions, engaging in discussions with an attorney can lead to positive outcomes while striving to make things right.