Consequences of a Hit and Run Accident
Being involved in any accident can be frustrating, especially when it’s not your fault. But when someone hits your car and then flees the scene, there’s a whole other level of frustration. If you’re injured by a hit and run driver, the difficulties may only be starting. In the state of Missouri, leaving the scene of an accident is a criminal offense. That means in addition to the normal liability that comes with a car accident, the driver may be subject to fines, jail, or loss of their driver’s license.
What You Should Do if You’re the Victim of a Hit and Run
The following steps may be invaluable to you if you are ever involved in a hit-and-run accident.
- Protect Yourself First and Foremost – The immediate aftermath of an accident is dangerous. Getting out of your vehicle can be risky. Makes sure that you exit with safety in mind.
- Call 911 – Whether the driver is on scene, leaving, or has already left, give the dispatcher your location, vehicle description, and any known injuries.
- Do Not Try to Restrain the Other Driver – It’s not uncommon for a driver to make contact and then try to leave. While this is a violation of the law, it can be dangerous. Copy down the license plate and note the direction of travel and the driver description.
- Do Not Chase the Other Car – Remain at the scene of the accident. Advise the police or dispatcher of the subject’s vehicle description and direction of travel. Chasing a car is dangerous and may require you to also commit violations of the law. There is no legal exception for chasing a hit-and-run driver. You will be exposing yourself to criminal and civil liability.
- Document the Scene with Videos and Photographs – If you are able to get a picture of the fleeing vehicle, that can be invaluable to the police and your attorney. In any event, you will want to take images of the street where the accident happened, damage to the vehicles, property damage, debris in the roadway, and injuries.
- Talk to Witnesses – If there is anyone in the area who saw the accident, ask them to remain to talk to the police or ask for their contact information.
- Allow Rescue Workers to Examine You – If you have injuries or possible injuries, get the rescue workers to examine you. If they recommend you go to the hospital, follow their advice.
Recourses for Hit and Run Accident Victims
If you’ve been injured by an unknown driver, it will be difficult to get compensation from the responsible party, at least until the police catch up with the person. Depending on the type of insurance coverage you carry, you may still be entitled to compensation. Personal Injury Protection(PIP) covers your medical bills in the event of an accident. Collision insurance may cover your car’s damages should the responsible party not be found.
Car accident attorneys Hipskind and McAninch recommend that you don’t accept a settlement from an insurance company without first discussing your case with a personal injury lawyer. If you’ve been injured in a hit and run car accident, you may still have the right to seek damages. Call a personal injury lawyer today.