A hit-and-run accident is any traffic accident which involves a vehicle that leaves the scene. It can involve a car hitting a pedestrian, a car hitting a piece of property, or a car hitting another vehicle. By law, any driver involved in an accident needs to pull over and provide their insurance information. When this doesn’t happen, the driver who leaves the scene commits a punishable crime.
If you were a victim of a hit-and-run accident in Georgia, it’s important to remain calm. Get a good look at the vehicle as it’s leaving the scene and follow up by calling the police immediately. If you can verify the name, make, and color of the vehicle as well as any numbers from the license plate, this information can be of importance to the police.
Also of importance is the direction of where the vehicle was headed. Make note of the exact time and date. One of the most challenging aspects of a hit-and-run case is identifying the vehicle and its owner who left the scene. If you’re able to provide the police with as specific information as possible, you can help them catch the driver before they have time to travel too far. Most hit-and-run crimes aren’t planned, so a few identifying factors can help tremendously.
Make sure that anyone who needs medical care gets it as soon as possible. Afterwards, you can worry about speaking to the police and documenting what happened. Ask to complete a police report if one isn’t automatically filled out. If there were any witnesses at the scene of the accident when it occurred, it may be a good time to speak to them and find out if they remember any distinguishing features about the vehicle or its owner.
You’ll also want to ask these witnesses if they’d be willing to give you their contact information and speak on your behalf if the case goes to court. Sometimes having an eyewitness or two during a hit-and-run case can make an incredibly large difference in how well your case does overall. Any evidence should also be gathered at this point, including photographs of the scene as well as any accident debris, skid marks on the road, etc.
At this point you will also want to contact those who need to be contacted. Contact your insurance provider and let them know about the accident, but do not agree to sign any settlement papers if you’re questioning your legal options. If questioned, simply state that the case is currently under investigation.
Depending on the nature of the accident and if the police were able to locate the driver, you may also want to contact a Georgia personal injury attorney at this time. An attorney will be able to tell you if you can file civil charges against the driver. Civil charges can be filed in addition to criminal charges in most cases, and a successful lawsuit can open many doors for you and your family in regards to recovery options.
If you have any questions about a Georgia hit-and-run crime you were a victim of or wish to know if filing a lawsuit is in your best interest, don’t hesitate to contact Bey & Associates today. Our office can pair you with a skilled and knowledgeable Atlanta, GA car accident lawyer who can help you get the compensation and peace of mind you deserve.