Any sort of hit-and-run is frustrating and stressful. Not only has an accident occurred, but the other party has fled the scene. Sometimes you are not even in your car when someone crashes into it before leaving the area.
Property damage is one thing, but the entire situation becomes that much worse when you suffer injuries. If you a victim of a hit-and-run, contact an attorney to find out what compensation you are eligible for.
Initial Information Gathering
The moment you are aware of a hit-and-run, you should call law enforcement for a report and get needed medical attention as soon as possible. However, there is a little more initial investigating you can do to make the entire incident a bit easier.
You or a witness having the other’s vehicle information is the best-case scenario. The investigation becomes pretty cut and dry if you can describe the person and vehicle that hit you and fled the scene. License plate number, make, model, and color of the car, and the description of anyone inside the vehicle are ideal things to know when you give your report to the police and insurance company.
Do not panic if you were unable to see who and what hit you. Surveillance and traffic cameras are great hidden helpers when it comes to making investigations shorter and more straightforward.
However, if the information is just not available, it will take longer to track down what happened. Law enforcement does their best to solve hit-and-runs, but it is not always possible when they do not have any details about the other car. They get overwhelmed with reports of people abandoning the scene and even their car. It is why having the most information possible can lead to a far more favorable result.
Understanding the Investigation
Law enforcement has to take into account several things, including what type of hit-and-run has happened. If the person simply fled the scene on foot, law enforcement has the proof they need from the car’s registration. However, if they left the location, it gets a bit harder. Again, get as much information as you can.
The reasons people commit hit-and-run vary. Lack of insurance, intoxication, or outstanding warrants are the leading factors. Regardless, they are not valid reasons, and there is no excuse for leaving the accident site.
It is at the officer’s description as to how they go about the investigation. They must decide based on injuries and property damage. The report will include their assessment and your evidence. You must have a police report for insurance purposes and if you plan on contacting an attorney for advice.
During the course of the initial investigation, an officer will gather all potential video evidence, peruse social media, and witness statements to paint the most precise picture possible.
The primary reason an attorney is a good idea in a lot of hit-and-run cases is that they can deal directly with insurance companies. They will conduct an independent investigation into the situation. Often, they can find things that you or the law enforcement agency were unable to track down.
Estimating the Length of an Investigation
It is hard to stand by and wait for an investigation in a hit-and-run to wrap up. It is difficult to predict how long it will last. The investigation length depends on the amount of information readily available to your legal representative. The more you have could mean a faster resolution and compensation.
So many things play a factor in a hit-and-run investigation, including where it happens. For instance, there will be no camera footage if it occurred in a rural area. You might even be too injured to help in your own case, which can make it harder for your attorney to reach a quick conclusion.
The rush to hire legal representation is not only about seeking compensation. It is about getting justice for a situation out of your control. However, as more times passes, the harder it gets to find the culprit and holding them accountable.
When a Hit-and-Run Goes Unsolved
One of the scariest parts of an unsolved hit-and-run is that there is a possibility that you could get held accountable for your medical costs, vehicle damage, and insurance premium. It is also one of the most critical reasons you need an attorney with expertise in these types of accidents.
You can avoid going head-to-head with your insurance company when you have a lawyer advocating for your rights. You can even sometimes receive compensation without the culprit’s capture.
Litigation is complex, and every state has different laws concerning hit-and-run accidents. Your attorney is on your side, and they will collect all accident-related information to perform the best investigation possible. Law enforcement gets overwhelming, and sometimes things fall into the cracks.
Regardless of the type of hit-and-run, contact an attorney that knows their stuff. Most will consult with you for free and answer all of your important questions. You do not have to pursue this alone or suffer because of someone else’s mistake.