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Holding Hit And Run Drivers Accountable

Car Accidents

Being involved in a collision, regardless of where the liability lies, can leave you with property damage, medical issues, and various other expenses. However, when another party flees the scene, an already traumatic affair turns into an even more problematic event. Luckily, even in the absence of the responsible party, there are still way you can ensure that hit-and-run drivers are held accountable.

Driver Expectations After a Crash

Under normal circumstances, every driver, passenger, or cyclist involved in a road accident must stay at the scene and offer support to each other. Regardless of the state, drivers are expected to remain present and wait for the police to arrive and investigate the scene – they can only leave once they’ve been given the all-clear. During this time, each party should exchange contact information and insurance details, which will be extremely helpful down the line.

When a driver decides to leave the scene, they will face civil and criminal penalties. Where the law is concerned, this may involve heavy fines, incarceration, suspensions, and complete driving bans. If a crash is less serious, they may walk away with a warning. Outside of the criminal justice system, a hit-and-run driver may be liable to pay civil compensations including loss of earnings, medical expenses, and more.

Supporting the Police Apprehend the Driver?

The best outcome for claiming compensation after a hit-and-run collision is that the police apprehend the driver. To do this, you will need to provide as much information as possible about the event. If you have details about what the driver and the car looked like, this will go a long way. If you have a number plate – or even a partial – your odds of success are increased to almost a slam dunk.

In the aftermath of the collision, you most likely won’t be in the best headspace. However, it’s important that you be proactive and start gathering evidence as soon as possible.

Take Videos and Pictures

If you’re able to do so, take photos of the crash site from every angle possible. Even if the other driver has fled, you may catch important information including potential witness car plates and conflicting color paint to indicate damage to the other vehicle. Additionally, it will help a car accident lawyer to build a clear picture of what may have caused the crash.

Have a Medical Assessment

Whether you’re seriously injured or not at all, it’s essential to have a medical examination carried out, as this will put an official time stamp on any injuries – proving you can’t have harmed yourself after the event. Whenever you receive medical care relating to your crash, it’s essential that you walk away with copies of the official records, which you can hand over to your lawyers to strengthen your claim.

Speak to Potential Witnesses

Roads are busy places, meaning there’s a high chance that someone witnessed the crash, whether it was a passerby or a fellow motorist. When you come across witnesses, you will need to ask for their contact details, which you can hand to your lawyer for them to interview.

If you find any witnesses that have dashcam footage, ask for a copy of the film and hand it over to the police and your attorney – it may be the difference between bringing a hit-and-run driver to justice and not.

Keep a Journal

During the collision and the following days, weeks, months, or a couple of years, you will have a lot of information to retain. For example, a year and a half after the crash, you may have forgotten your healing journey. Even after a week, you may have blocked out the finer details of the actual crash.

By keeping a journal, you’ll have an accurate record of every aspect of the crash, meaning you can recall feelings and events whenever you need to.

Get in Touch with an Attorney

Investigating a crash and compiling a compelling compensation claim, even in the absence of the liable party, can feel like an upward hill to climb. However, if you have the support of a qualified accident attorney on your side, you can rest easy knowing that you stand every chance of receiving the compensation owed to you.

The Best-Case Scenario

When it comes to hit-and-run accidents, the best-case scenario is that the police can track down the driver and bring charges against them. In this case, your testimonials can play an essential part in seeing justice served. However, you should note that criminal proceedings can take a long time to enter the courts, so be prepared to stay strong for some time.

As well as seeing the drive brought to justice, your lawyer will help you claim compensation on the appropriate insurance. In an ideal world, this will be the driver’s personal insurance policy. However, many drivers that flee the scene aren’t insured.

The Worst-Case Scenario

Despite your best efforts and an extensive search by the police, some drivers can’t be found and held accountable. Perhaps the car was stolen and it was ditched and burnt, perhaps they had fake plates on (or no plates). Although this means that there’s no sense of justice, you shouldn’t despair when it comes to claiming compensation.

Your attorney will have the necessary knowledge to ensure you receive financial comp. Typically, this involves claiming under your own insurance policy, which may make provisions for hit-and-runs. For example, given the rise of hit-and-run accidents, many insurance companies offer uninsured motorist (UM) coverage. Alternatively, you may be in a position to claim on the personal injury section of your own policy.

Being involved in a hit-and-run accident isn’t ideal, but that doesn’t mean all hope should be lost. Even though the absence of a liable driver means you can’t claim on their insurance, you can still for compensation through your own insurance company. For the best chances of holding a hit-and-run driver accountable, make sure you record every detail and work closely with the police.

If you want to increase your chances of receiving the proper level of compensation even further, then don’t hesitate to contact your offices.

  • Astoria – 32-72 Steinway St, Astoria, NY 11103
  • Brooklyn – 7113 5th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11209
  • Syosset – 175 Jericho Turnpike, Syosset, NY 11791

Call now for a free consultation on (347) 472-5080.