What To Do If A Driver Flees The Scene
There are a number of different reasons why a driver might flee the scene of an accident. Some drivers may be afraid, confused, or feel guilty about the accident. This is especially true if the person is driving without a license, he or she is uninsured, or if they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Others may be unaware that they even caused the accident. No matter what the reason, you cannot control the other driver’s actions. What you can control is how you behave if the other driver leaves the scene. Buzzell, Welsh & Hill has some advice on what to do in this situation.
1. Take Notes
If another driver hits your car and flees the scene, the first thing that you should do is take notes. Record all of the details you can remember about the other vehicle: model, make, color, license number, and any damage. Even if you didn’t get a good look at the other vehicle – there’s a good chance that someone else did. In addition to taking notes about the other car, be sure to talk to any witnesses at the scene and take down their contact information. Ask them about what happened, what they saw, and any details they remember about the other vehicle and driver. If you can, take photos of any vehicle damage as well as the condition of the road.
2. Do Not Chase The Other Driver!
Even if you are physically able or your car is in good enough condition to chase the other driver, don’t do it. Chasing the other vehicle could be dangerous. The other driver may be armed, or the chase could end in another crash, causing further damage and injuries. It is better to call the police, who are trained to handle these situations. Just concentrate on yourself and taking notes about the other driver and vehicle.
3. Record A Police Statement
After you have called the police and have taken notes about what happened, the next step is to record a police statement. You should provide all relevant information regarding the accident, including the driver and car description, any photos, and your witnesses’ contact information. The more information you give the police, the better their chances of finding the other driver.
4. Report The Accident To Your Insurance Company
It is important to contact your insurance provider as soon as possible to let them know about the accident. Depending on your auto policy, the damage may be covered by your collision coverage or by your uninsured motorist coverage. It might seem overwhelming for the victim of a hit-and-run to contact their insurance company so soon after the accident. However, providing your insurer with details about the accident will help with your claim if the other driver is at-fault and currently missing.
Penalties For Fleeing The Scene Of An Accident
In Georgia, fleeing the scene of an accident without stopping is illegal. It is also a crime to leave the scene of an accident if someone has been injured. If the police have to search for the hit-and-run driver, he or she will likely face charges for fleeing the scene of an accident plus charges for any related criminal behavior (ex: DUI or driving without a license). The other, at-fault driver could face anything from a misdemeanor and fines to a felony charge with jail time. Additionally, the injured victim can pursue a civil claim for damages against the other driver.
Macon Car Accident Attorneys
If you have been injured in an accident with a hit-and-run driver and need to speak with a personal injury attorney, we’re here to help. The Macon personal injury lawyers at Buzzell, Welsh & Hill are experienced in these types of cases and know how to get the compensation you deserve. Contact us for a free consultation today.