No one wants to get involved in an accident. It may mean taking a trip to the emergency room, running around getting estimates for car repairs, losing days off of work, and suffering the pain of a physical injury. However, you know that after an accident you are supposed to stay at the scene and exchange information with the other vehicles involved.
Some people chose not to stick around after an accident. Instead, they will take off, fleeing the scene. This may not only create a nightmare for everyone else involved in the accident, it is also against the law. If you were involved in a hit and run accident, you may have to seek compensation from the unknown driver and fight with your insurance company to get your damages covered.
Even if you track down the person responsible for the accident you may come to find out that they did not have insurance. The driver may also not have any money to pay for the damage they caused. These may be some of the reasons they fled the accident. Contacting an attorney after a hit and run accident will ensure that you have someone who will fight for you. They will also deal with the insurance company so you can focus on recovery.
Serious Injury Hit and Run
A hit and run accident that results in serious injury can be dangerous for anyone injured in the accident. After a serious accident, you may be unable to call for help because you are trapped in the vehicle, cannot access your phone, or are knocked unconscious. If the other driver takes off after the accident, then you may be left alone with no one to call for help. In a serious accident, every second counts. When emergency responders are not called, the injured driver or passenger may risk greater injury or death from bleeding, internal injuries, a burning vehicle, or risk getting hit by another vehicle.
Hit and run injuries can range from minor to fatal. Common injuries include head trauma, broken bones, neck or back injury, internal injuries, burns, and eye injuries. Delays in treatment can make the injuries worse, or lead to death. An injured driver may require extensive medical treatment and still be left with permanent pain, disability, or other disfigurement.
When Your Unattended Vehicle is Hit
Many people have had the unfortunate experience of walking out to their car only to find a dented fender, smashed door, or broken window. There may be a note with an apology, but no contact information or there may be a fake phone number. With no witnesses, you may think you are completely out of luck and will have to pay for the repairs yourself.
After an unattended vehicle hit and run, you should contact the police so that they can take an accident report. The police may be able to uncover some information that may lead to identifying the other driver. They may be able to connect the hit-and-run with another similar accident that occurred before or after your car was hit. They may be able to gather video evidence of the incident. Additionally, you may need the police report for your own insurance claim.
Criminal Hit & Run Charges
In addition to being liable for damages in a hit and run accident, the driver may be charged with a criminal offense. Under the DC Code, anyone who operates a vehicle that has been in a collision shall immediately stop. If another person is injured, they are to call 911 or seek emergency assistance, remain on the scene, and provide identifying information. If only property is damaged, they are to provide identifying information to the owner of the property or to law enforcement.
Failure to stop at the scene of an accident can result in a fine and incarceration. Failure to stop at the scene of an injury accident can result in jail time of up to 180 days. If the driver is under the influence or driving on a suspended license, they may face additional charges.
DC Hit and Run Attorneys
If you or a loved one has been injured in a hit & run injury accident, the law firm of Gilman & Bedigian may be able to help. Recovery from a hit and run accident can take time, and the injured victims may not have the time or resources to find the person responsible and make them pay for their medical bills. Hiring an attorney to represent you will ensure that you have someone to advocate on your behalf, to get you the compensation you deserve. Our attorneys have years of experience dealing with automobile accident cases throughout the DC Metro area. Contact us today for a free consultation.