Meta Description: Victims have several options when it comes to hit and run cases. Thus giving up prematurely is unwise. This article will explain what else you can do.
What to do if someone leaves the accident scene? Leaving the scene of an accident is a legal offense and is termed as hit and run. While the law requires all parties involved in a motor vehicle crash to stay put and exchange information with each other, some panic and flee – whatever the case, it is not justifiable.
Hit-and-run cases can be especially devastating if there is no one else in sight, which means that if the injured person is hurt badly, they may not be able to seek the medical help they need so desperately, which may lead to wrongful death.
Being on the receiving end of a hit-and-run scenario is not easy.
But you should not give up because there’s a lot you and lawyers can do even in such dire circumstances.
And, no need to worry about hiring a lawyer because, at Calhoun, Meredith, & Sims, we have highly experienced car accident attorneys ever eager to represent accident victims and helping them secure a fair settlement without upfront payments..
Driving on the road demands lots of responsibility and a good moral sense.
Not only do you owe people some duties while driving in general but also when you’ve been involved in an accident, in which case you must stay at the scene and talk to the other party about the damages and whatnot, even call the ambulance for them if they need immediate medical assistance.
However, for some people, morals and duties are not important enough to be given a second thought.
People often flee the accident scene after causing a mess, leaving the poor victim all alone dealing with the problems. Hit and run are considered a misdemeanor at the very least but can be a felony if things get serious, but it has a penalty in either case.
Whatever the case, leaving the accident scene prematurely is not justified, ever.
The other person may be inebriated, a convicted criminal, or highly insensitive to do such a thing, or perhaps none of these – they may have fled in a moment of panic. Whatever the case, if you were involved in a hit-and-run case, you should not give up your legal rights before the fight’s even begun – there’s always hope.
Let’s discuss what happens next and what you can do about it.
You may or may not be able to do them all but do try your best:
Every shred of information you can come across will be highly valuable for your case, so notice everything. Did you manage to steal a look at the at-fault driver’s vehicle, more importantly, the number plate? If yes, then bingo!
But even other than the license plate number, you should be able to describe the car – the color, make and model, and any discernable qualities.
Be sure to keep note of anything that can help the police officer track down the reckless driver.
Perhaps there were other witnesses nearby. If yes, then ask them all they saw. Maybe one of them caught a glimpse at the number plate of your offender. You should also request them to share their contact information, telling them how their testimony can help you through the troubles that lay ahead of you.
Any piece of information, even if seemingly meager, can be helpful so take note of everything. Better yet, photograph the whole scene to show the extent of property damage and your injuries (if they are superficially visible).
Later on, stuff like medical bills, receipts, and medical records will also be much useful.
Calling the emergency services should be your top priority after that.
Evidence or no evidence, the police must know what happened, so keep your mind clear and try to record the details to help you construct your narrative without missing out on details. We’re asking you to record the details because it is easy to become forgetful in such conditions.
Once the police officer shows up at the accident scene, share the details with them, showing them your notes and photos to help them get a better picture of how things happened.
They’ll investigate the scene and compile their findings in their police report, and you’ll need a copy of that, so don’t forget to ask for it.
This would be one of the things that perfectly embody ‘last but not the least.’
You should, under no circumstances, try to chase after the other driver, even if you can. This is never a good idea. Not only will you too leave the motor vehicle accident scene (just like the at-fault party) but also endanger yourself.
You know next to nothing about this guy. They could be very dangerous or have a criminal record. It is far better to be safe than sorry.
If the perp is caught, then according to the at-fault inclination of Texas, you can sue them for the damages or seek compensation from their insurance provider under the insurance policy limits, but that’s not guaranteed because in minor motor vehicle accidents where the evidence is also scarce, getting a hold onto the at-fault driver (for hit and run) may not be highly probable.
In such cases, you can dig into your own insurance policy.
The uninsured motorist coverage will help you with the economic and non-economic damages you had to go through – this is an integral part of liability insurance policies. Unless you decided not to have it in the first place (which is not recommended at all), you should not have any trouble with it.
The same also applies in the case where the at-fault party (i.e., underinsured drivers) may not be able to cover all of your financial losses and non-economic damages.
The insurance adjuster may not be too willing to help but not to worry, your auto accident attorney will be able to get them to cooperate, either that, or you can take matters to court and make your insurance company keep their end of the commitment.
Hit and run cases, as we saw, are not hopeless.
Granted, the approach is not conventional, and you may have to dig into your own insurance coverage if nothing else works out, but you won’t be left without support.
At least not if you seek legal support early on in the case.
If you feel that your case is worth pursuing, or even if you’re unsure about it, contacting an experienced attorney should be a priority zero for you. You can’t delay getting the lawyers involved in the mess because handling the tussle on your own is both impractical and does not yield fair results.
And since the legal team of lawyers at Calhoun, Meredith, & Sims works on a contingency fee basis, you don’t have a thing to worry about.
Call us today, and together, we’ll fight for your legal rights on all fronts! You can contact us with your legal advice.