An auto collision can happen in seconds. Immediately afterward, check yourself for injuries and call 911 to report the crash and request any needed medical assistance. As you regain composure, you might catch a glimpse of the at-fault driver speeding away from the scene. Here is what you should know about how the law views hit-and-run accidents and what you should do to strengthen a potential case against the other driver.
What Is a Hit-&-Run Accident?
When one involved driver leaves the scene before speaking to the other motorists or waiting for law enforcement or paramedics to arrive, it is considered a hit-and-run incident. Numerous factors could influence this behavior. For instance, the at-fault driver might have been driving while uninsured, which is illegal. In addition to arrest, they might fear paying out of pocket to repair the damage they caused. If the motorist is under the influence of drugs and alcohol, driving with a suspended license, or has a history of reckless driving, they might be worried about going to jail, too.
This type of accident is a serious offense, as all states require motorists to stop following an accident. In Georgia, for instance, a motorist involved in a crash must report the accident to law enforcement without delay, exchange contact information with the other parties and show them their driver's license, assist injured individuals, and remain at the site.
The crime is often raised from a misdemeanor to a felony when the wreck caused severe injuries or death to the other parties involved. Penalties for a hit-and-run conviction can include steep fines. The at-fault motorist will likely have their driver's license suspended or revoked and their auto insurance policy terminated, too. A felony conviction could also include prison time.
What Should You Do After a Hit-&-Run?
Remaining safe is the top priority, so pull over in an area away from oncoming traffic as you call 911. While you wait for help to arrive, devote to memory any details about the car that hit you, including the make, model, color, and license plate number. Write the information down at the scene or as soon as you are able. This information will help police officers narrow the search for the reckless driver.
When you call 911, ask for law enforcement as well as paramedics. Police officers will write a detailed report of what happened, which can be used as evidence to support your insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit. Paramedics will record your injuries on a chart, which can be used as the first piece of medical evidence you gather. Collect contact information from witnesses, too, as they may also recount the at-fault driver's actions and be able to help identify them.
If you were the victim of a hit-and-run accident, turn to our attorneys for help. Our counselors are committed to helping clients in Cobb County and the Metro Atlanta area recover damages after car, truck, drunk driving, and motorcycle accidents. Meet the personal injury attorneys and support staff online and call (404) 737-6251 for a consultation.
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