A car accident may come as a shocking experience. You may not realize what happened, who hit you, or how serious your injuries may be. However, it is even more shocking if the person who caused the accident leaves the scene. They may leave without even making sure you are okay or calling for an ambulance. Once you get the medical attention you need, you may not know who will pay your medical bills if you don't even know who it was that caused the accident.
Don't Know Who Hit You?
When someone gets into an accident with another vehicle, contacting law enforcement or emergency assistance is not only the right thing to do, it may also be required by law. Getting in an accident and leaving the scene may be considered a criminal offense. Depending on the seriousness of any injuries involved, a hit and run accident may lead even to jail time. A hit and run involving bodily injury can be punished by up to 5 years in prison.
Even if the threat of criminal sanctions is not enough to stop a driver from leaving the scene of an accident, the injured driver may still need someone to pay their medical bills, cover their lost wages, and get their car repaired. Before giving up, there may be ways for you to make sure you are compensated for your injuries, even if you don't know who hit you.
After a hit-and-run accident, you should first make sure you receive the proper medical treatment. Car accident injuries can be misleading. Even a small fender bender can lead to serious neck or back injuries. In some cases, the seriousness of an injury may not be obvious until days or weeks after an accident. Make sure you seek out medical treatment to ensure your injuries do not go untreated.
Once you've sought out medical treatment, you should speak to law enforcement. There is certain information that you or your passengers may have regarding the accident and the hit-and-run driver. Try and look for identifying information about the vehicle or the driver, including the vehicle make and model, or color of the vehicle. Even if the police spoke to you after the accident, you may want to follow up to provide any additional information, including any observations the police did not take into account during their initial accident report. You may also need to correct any misinformation they have in their reports.
After an accident, the police may conduct an investigation to determine who was at fault for the accident. They may interview any witnesses, review any camera footage in the area, and search for any identifying evidence at the scene of the crime. However, the police may also do little about the accident, and only provide you a copy of the report with very little, helpful information.
You may also have to contact your insurance company to report your accident. Depending on your coverage, your insurance provider may cover your injuries and your property damage. However, if you have only the minimum level of insurance, or your injuries exceed your coverage limits, you may be financially responsible for paying your medical bills after an accident. In some cases, your insurance company may even deny your claim by suggesting you were at fault for the accident.
After reporting the hit-and-run accident to the police and insurance company, you may think there is nothing else you can do. However, even if the police are supposed to be taking care of the investigation and your insurance company is supposed to cover your claim, you may need to hire an advocate to make sure you are compensated for your damages and injuries.
Philadelphia Hit and Run Personal Injury Claims
If your insurance company does not want to pay your claim or only wants to pay a portion of your damages, you may want to consider talking to an experienced personal injury attorney. Your Philadelphia attorney will investigate your claim, and fight to make sure that you are fully compensated for your injuries. If you are not responsible for the accident, then you should not have to pay the price for your damages.
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 related to your claim. An injury accident is difficult enough to handle. Let your attorneys handle your accident claim so that you can focus on getting better and moving forward.