Hit-and-run accidents happen more frequently than we'd like to think, leaving victims in a state of shock and confusion. Fortunately, our experienced Atlanta car accident attorney can help you determine what actions to take if you’ve recently been injured in a hit-and-run accident.
5 Steps to Take After a Hit-and-Run-Accident
After a hit-and-run accident, take these steps to take to protect your health and potential right to compensation.
1. Ensure Safety
Check yourself and your passengers for injuries. If anyone is seriously hurt, call 911 to request medical assistance. If possible, move your vehicle to a safe location, such as the side of the road or a parking lot, to avoid further accidents. Turn on your hazard lights to alert other drivers.
Even if you don't believe you are seriously injured, seeking medical attention as soon as possible is advisable. Some injuries may not produce symptoms immediately, and documentation of your medical condition is essential for insurance claims.
2. Document the Scene
Even if the other driver has fled, it's crucial to document the accident scene for later reference if you can do so. Use your smartphone to take clear photos of the following:
- Your vehicle's damage
- Any damage to property (e.g., fences, street signs)
- Skid marks, debris, or any relevant road conditions
- The license plates of any other vehicles involved (if visible)
- The location of the accident, including street signs and landmarks
3. Gather Witness Information
If there were any witnesses to the accident, try to obtain their contact information. Witnesses can provide crucial statements about the incident that may aid in identifying the fleeing driver, as well as information about reckless driving or drunk driving behaviors.
4. Contact the Police
Call your local law enforcement agency and provide them with all the accident details, including any witness information you have gathered. Be sure to request a copy of the police report once it's filed.
5. Call Your Insurance Company
Notify your insurance company about the accident as soon as possible, even if the other driver fled. Your insurance company will guide you through the claims process, and they may be able to assist in identifying the fleeing driver through their resources.
Receiving Compensation After a Georgia Hit-and-Run Accident
Georgia law (O.C.G.A. § 40-6-270) states that any driver involved in an accident resulting in injury, death, or property damage must:
- Stop at the scene.
- Provide their name, address, and vehicle registration number to the other party involved.
- Render aid to any injured parties, if necessary.
Failure to do so can result in severe penalties, including fines and imprisonment. This is separate from your civil claim for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. In addition, if the hit-and-run driver can later be identified, you may be able to pursue punitive damages as part of your injury claim.
Law enforcement agencies in Georgia take hit-and-run accidents seriously. They will conduct an investigation to locate the driver who fled following the collision. This process may involve reviewing surveillance footage, following up on witness statements, and examining physical evidence from the scene.If the other driver is identified, Rechtman & Spevak’s experienced car accident attorney can help you navigate the legal aspects of your civil case, pursue compensation, and ensure your rights are protected. If the other driver is unable to be located, we can still help you pursue damages through the uninsured motorist coverage on your own auto insurance policy.