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A Basic Guide to Hit-and-Run Accidents in Ohio

Published on Apr 20, 2018 at 8:01 pm in Car Accidents.

A hit-and-run accident can be frustrating to deal with on your own. In a regular car accident, the parties involved usually exchange information about themselves, their insurance policies, and the vehicles that were in the accident. You can then proceed to filing your claim and start to settle the matter. But when the other party leaves the scene, you may feel lost or confused about what to do next.

If you’ve been injured in a hit-and-run in Ohio, you need a skilled injury lawyer at your side. Bey & Associates will pair you with an experienced and compassionate Cincinnati personal injury lawyer who will help you with your claim. We’ll fight to get you the compensation you deserve and you can be assured that you have someone standing up for your rights.

Ohio Car Accident Laws

When people are involved in a car accident, they have a legal obligation to stop and help anyone if they’re injured or have caused any property damage. They should also take measures to let the car owner or property owner know about the accident and give contact information so they can settle the matter.

Failing to do this and driving away from the accident makes it a hit-and-run. The people who are likely to commit hit-and-runs are those driving without insurance, if they’re underinsured, or if they’re afraid of the consequences of causing an accident. But leaving only makes the problem much worse. There are different levels of consequences one can face for a hit-and-run, but they all can be severe.

  • Felony Charge. Repeat offenders or people who cause major injuries or property damage can get charged with a felony. Fines can range from $5,000-$20,000. They can also go to prison for up to 15 years.
  • Misdemeanor Charge. While not as serious as a felony, misdemeanors are still severe. People can pay a fine up to $500, go to prison for up to six months, and face a six month suspension from their driver’s license.

There are some hit-and-run accidents that people don’t even know they’ve committed. This is especially common in areas like parking lots. A driver may bump or scratch another car but not be aware they had done it. Most of the penalties from a hit-and-run come from the driver’s knowledge that they had caused an accident, injury, or damage, but drove away regardless.

What Should You Do If You’re a Victim of a Hit-and-Run?

The moments after a hit-and-run accident are probably a mix of shock and fear. But your actions after the accident can help your claim. You should call the police to report the incident. If you need medical attention, call for aid immediately. But if it’s safe for you to do so, try and do the following:

  • Get a Glimpse of the Car. Any detail you can remember about the car’s make, model, color, or license plate number can help the police. You may even see the driver and could describe them.
  • Take Photographs. Preserve the evidence of the accident scene. Photographs of the entire scene and close-ups of the damage provide physical evidence of the accident for your claim.
  • Speak to Eyewitnesses. There’s a chance other people witnessed the accident. If they’re willing to make a statement, get their contact information so they can provide a third-party account of the accident. The police may ask them if they remember any details about the accident.

Police will use any information you have and then conduct their investigation. They may look at any security cameras that businesses or homes have to see if the driver drove past them. Speaking to people in the area and possibly taking the search to social media will broaden their search and increase their chances of finding the driver.

Unfortunately, there’s a chance that the police won’t find the person who committed the hit-and-run. But this doesn’t mean you’re left to deal with this on your own. Your insurance coverage may be able to protect you and cover your expenses.

Whether the police find the driver or not, the best way to get a favorable outcome to this situation is to have a trustworthy attorney at your side.