Hundreds of thousands of hit-and-run accidents occur every year. Tens of thousands of people are injured and sadly more than 1,000 lose their lives. When law enforcement arrives at the scene of one of these accidents, they only get one side of the story. They must uncover the facts of the case and use many techniques to do so. What does this process involve?
Table of Contents
People often think a hit-and-run accident is one in which a driver hits a person or object, such as a car, and leaves the scene without stopping. However, an accident in which the responsible driver provides false identifying information or fails to provide any identifying information and then leaves the scene of the accident is also considered a hit-and-run accident. In addition, if a driver stops but fails to render aid before leaving, this is considered a hit-and-run accident.
What Should a Driver Do if They Are Involved in a Hit-and-Run Accident?
Law enforcement doesn’t know an accident has occurred unless a driver calls it in. Don’t leave the scene when you are involved in a hit and run accident. Remain until a police officer arrives, so they can take down the necessary information and begin an investigation. The only time a person should not remain on the scene is when they need medical care as a result of injuries sustained in the accident. This care should never be delayed for any reason.
What Can Law Enforcement Do?
When a law enforcement officer arrives at the scene of the accident, they speak to the driver that remained. In addition, they will talk with any eyewitnesses and see if there are cameras that may have recorded the incident. The officer will take pictures of the vehicle, the accident scene, the surroundings, and anything that might have played a role in the accident. This will give the officer a starting point for investigating what happened.
Notify Your Insurance Company
The officer needs time to investigate the accident. While they are doing so, let your insurance company know about the accident. Many policyholders have uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage for these situations. Only share basic information about the accident. If the insurer presses for more details, it may be time to contact an attorney for help.
Talk With an Attorney
Reach out to an attorney to learn more about your rights if you are the victim of a hit-and-run accident. The costs associated with this accident may quickly add up. Who will pay these bills if the other driver isn’t found? The attorney will answer this question and many others.
Furthermore, the attorney may start their own investigation or work with law enforcement to find the party or parties responsible. If these parties cannot be found, the attorney works with your insurance company to ensure you get fair compensation. They protect the victim’s rights as this process moves forward while ensuring the victim is treated fairly.
The best case scenario would be law enforcement finding the responsible party and holding them accountable for their actions. The insurance company for this driver would then be liable for any damages and additional compensation The driver would also face consequences for leaving the scene.
If this does not happen, the attorney can work with the victim’s insurance company to secure fair compensation. No person should be penalized for something that is completely beyond their control, such as in a hit-and-run accident. The attorney works to ensure their client is not.