Legal Options if You’ve Been Injured in a Hit and Run Accident?
Fleeing from a car accident scene is illegal in every state whether or not the escaping vehicle is at fault. Yet, hit and runs are still incredibly common today. While all motor vehicle accidents can potentially be costly, receiving compensation for injuries in a hit and run accident presents unique challenges that a non hit and run accident wouldn’t have.
So, how do you receive monetary relief after being involved in a hit and run? Fortunately, there are legal options you can turn to.
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File a police report immediately.
The first thing anyone should do when involved in a hit and run accident is to file a police report as soon as possible. Write down the time, date, and location of the incident; take pictures of your vehicle and any injuries you have acquired; take note of any witnesses that were present; and collect other details pertaining to the scene. Present this information to police.
Equally as important is writing down anything you know about the driver and/or their vehicle. Do you know what color their vehicle was, the year or make of their vehicle, or even what the individual driving remotely looked like?
Because the fine details of an accident can be quickly forgotten or distorted overtime, according to the University of Southern California, it is crucial to write down evidence quickly, even before filing a police report, in the event that your memory fails on you later on. Dissociative amnesia is not uncommon in traumatic or alarming events as it’s a way the brain aims to protect itself.
File an insurance claim.
Filing an insurance claim for a hit and run accident is not easy. It will be dependent on a few things: whether or not the escapee was found, whether or not the escapee has insurance, and whether or not your insurance allows coverage for a hit and run accident (if worse comes to worse).
In the case that the suspect was never found or if they do not have insurance, you would have to file a claim with your own insurance policy rather than theirs. But if your insurance does not provide coverage for hit and run accidents, compensation for injuries may not be possible in any form.
If you are able to file a claim with either yours or the suspect’s insurance, do keep in mind that because insurance companies have deadlines, a claim needs to be filed quickly.
Get in touch with an attorney.
There may be legal aspects of your hit and run case that you don’t quite understand or things that you cannot tend to on your own. For that reason, speaking with an attorney regarding your case may be an important step to take.
An attorney can help you decide the most applicable route for conducting an investigation, filing an insurance claim, and the like. Having an attorney to back you up and answer any questions you may have is critical as hit and run accidents, or any accident for that matter, can vary so drastically from one to the next.
When one doesn’t know who hit their vehicle and who to turn to for compensation for injuries, it can be hard. While not every escaping vehicle in a hit and run accident ends up getting caught, there is still a good chance the suspect can be tracked down. For that reason, making the effort to turn to the legal options you have at hand is important.