As if being involved in a car accident were not difficult enough to deal with, things get even more frustrating if the other driver flees the scene of the crash. Not only do you have to deal with the damage to your car and the injuries from the crash – including a potential trip to the hospital and weeks of recovery time – but also the possibility that the police will not find the person who caused your injuries. If they cannot be found, then getting the compensation that you deserve for the injuries you have suffered becomes even more complex.
This is just one of the times where having the Philadelphia personal injury attorneys at the law office of Gilman & Bedigian can help you get the financial help you need to treat the pain and suffering you have not deserved.
Hit and Run Accidents Are Illegal in Philadelphia
Just like everywhere else in the United States, it is illegal to get involved in an auto accident in Pennsylvania and leave the scene.
Nevertheless, that is just what some people do when they get into a car accident. Why they might make this decision depends on their own circumstances, but many drivers who immediately know that they were the ones to cause the accident might choose to try getting away before someone sees them at the scene. Many of these drivers are uninsured or should not be driving, and so know that they will face serious repercussions for being involved in a crash, and try to get away.
Leaving the scene of a car accident, however, is not a small offense. In the state of Pennsylvania, leaving the scene of an accident is a misdemeanor in the third degree if there was only property damage in the crash. This criminal charge can carry up to one year of jail time and fines of up to $2,500. If someone was hurt or killed in the crash, the charge becomes a third-degree felony. If the victim was hurt, this means between 90 days and seven years in jail, along with a minimum fine of $1,000. If the accident proves to be fatal, it becomes between one and seven years in jail and a minimum fine of $2,500.
If you get involved in a car accident, only to watch the other driver speed away, it is crucial to call the police as soon as you can so they can start their investigation.
Accidents Involving Your Unattended Vehicle
A common hit and run situation involves your vehicle getting hit while in a parking spot or parallel parked on the road. The driver of the car that hit yours either leaves the scene immediately or stops just long enough to leave a note with their contact information. Oftentimes, this note does not have enough information for you to get in touch with them or else has a fake phone number. Your car may have thousands of dollars of damage, but without a witness, you might feel victimized and without a recourse other than to just pay to fix the damage out-of-pocket.
Despite this feeling of hopelessness, it is important to call the police and report the accident. They can only start their investigation after being told of the crash and might be able to track down the driver who collided with your car. Additionally, reporting the accident to the police is necessary if you need a police report for your car insurance claim, which might cover such an unfortunate incident.
Philadelphia Hit and Run Attorneys
Being involved in a hit and run car accident is not something that anyone wants to deal with. Like all other car accidents, they can create a financial nightmare as you are forced to repair or replace your car. They can also put you in a difficult position if you get seriously hurt in the crash. This often leads to mounds of medical bills, pain and suffering, and a long road to recovery that prevents you from making an income in the meantime.
The Philadelphia personal injury attorneys at the law office of Gilman & Bedigian know this and fight for your rights and interests both in and out of court to ensure that you get the compensation that you need and deserve. Just because someone else fled the scene of the accident does not mean that you should be the one to suffer. Contact us online or at (800) 529-6162.