If someone makes a mistake, they should own up to it. One of the worst things a driver can experience is to be hit by another car, only to have that car take off, without stopping to see if everyone is alright, or even giving insurance information. The driver and passengers left behind may be in shock that someone would hit their car and then just take off. However, that may only be the beginning of a driver's problems. Who will pay for the damages? Who will pay for medical bills? If you don't know who hit you, what happens next?
What to Do in a Hit and Run
A hit and run is a situation in which a driver causes an accident and then leaves the scene without rendering aid, notifying authorities, identifying themselves, or leaving their name and contact information behind. Under the law in the District of Columbia, a hit and run is a criminal offense. In the case of a hit and run involving alcohol or serious bodily injury, the driver may face serious criminal charges, including jail time.
If you see that your vehicle has been damaged when you were not driving and there were no passengers in the car, you will likely only be facing an automobile damage claim. If someone left a note behind, contact the person and talk to them about the accident. However, in some cases, people will leave behind a note with phony information, just in case other people are watching. In either case, you will likely need to contact the Metro police to file an accident report.
The police report will contain basic facts about the accident, including where it took place, who was involved, and even a diagram of the accident. Even if a police report is not very helpful in identifying who it was that hit your vehicle, you may need to provide it to your insurance company to file a claim to get your car repaired. Unfortunately, if no other driver is identified in the hit and run, you will likely be responsible for covering the deductible to get your car fixed.
However, if you or any passengers were in the car when it was hit, there may be serious issues involved. A personal injury accident is not just about fixing a dented car; you may have to seek medical care or even long-term treatment, depending on the extent of the injuries. In comparison to a car repair bill, medical care can be infinitely more expensive.
If you are injured in a hit and run accident, you may see the driver responsible drive away from the accident. If possible, look for identifying information about the car or driver, including the license plate, vehicle make and model, color and condition of the vehicle, and the appearance of the driver and any passengers. If you can, write down this information and immediately contact the police.
The police will likely take a hit and run involving injury more seriously than one only involving car damage. They may take your information, any identifying information you can provide, witness statements, and even look for surveillance footage to try and identify the other driver. If the police identify the other driver, they may pass the case on to a prosecutor to pursue criminal charges. However, you will still be responsible for reporting the accident to your insurance company.
You may still want to contact a personal injury attorney to help you recover for your damages in a hit and run accident. Your attorney can help you establish a claim, file a lawsuit, and get you the compensation to cover your medical bills, vehicle repair, lost wages, and other losses experienced as the result of a hit and run accident.
Hit and Run Personal Injury Claims In Washington D.C.
You should not have to be responsible for paying the costs of an accident that was caused by another driver. If you were injured in a hit and run accident, contact the team at Gilman & Bedigian. Our experienced personal injury attorneys will make sure that you don't have to deal with any unnecessary stress so that you can focus on getting better and moving forward.