It is illegal to leave the scene of an accident in which someone gets hurt. However, a driver who thinks that he or she is going to get into some kind of legal trouble if the police come may take the chance that he or she won’t be identified later and depart in haste. About 10% of hit-and-run drivers are eventually caught, and the consequences for them are much worse than if they had stayed. A hit-and-run accident can be extremely frustrating, and you have to make taking care of yourself your first priority. You may also want to speak to an attorney who specializes in these kinds of accidents.
Stay at the Scene
It is no less illegal to leave the scene of an accident where someone gets hurt if you’re the one who got hurt. Under no circumstances should you chase after the other driver. If you catch him or her, it could escalate the situation, and you could also get into another accident.
If you are injured in a hit-and-run accident, you need prompt medical attention, and you need to file a report with the police. Calling 911 allows you to get in touch with all emergency services at once, and the dispatcher will send both the police and an ambulance as needed. It is important to get medical attention to rule out any serious injuries. Since you can’t get the information you need from the driver, any evidence you can gather is crucially important to your case, including a police report and medical records.
The police may decide to pursue the other driver, whether now or part of a later investigation. The 911 dispatcher will therefore probably ask you for information about the driver and the vehicle that struck you, and anything you can share would be very helpful. It’s best if you can remember all or part of the license plate number, but anything you remember about the color or type of vehicle or the driver’s appearance is potentially valuable. As soon as you get the opportunity, write down all the details about the driver, the vehicle, and the accident as you can remember so you can give them to the police.
Talk to Witnesses
If there are any witnesses to the accident, you should talk to them as soon as possible, the lawyers at Cohen & Cohen advise. They may be able to corroborate your statement and provide additional details. Things happen very quickly after an accident. If you have time to take statements, you should do so, but at the very least, you should collect witnesses’ names and contact information so you can get their stories later.
Even after a hit-and-run accident, you still have the right to seek justice, and an attorney may be able to help you.