RULES TO FOLLOW IF YOU ARE INVOLVED IN A HIT-AND-RUN ACCIDENT
November 20, 2015
A hit-and-run accident can happen to anyone, at any given moment, and can be confusing and upsetting for a victim. A victim of a hit-and-run can protect themselves by knowing how to react despite feeling confused or upset. North Carolina requires all drivers involved in a car accident to pull over, exchange information, and render aid to anyone injured regardless of who is at fault. This applies to accidents with pedestrians, other drivers, or stationary objects (i.e. parked vehicle, fences.) A driver, who intentionally drives away after a car accident, commits a hit-and-run. When this happens, a victim must stay calm and follow the steps below to maximize the chances of finding the fleeing driver and recover any losses.
1. Do not chase the other vehicle as you may drive recklessly and get into another accident. Instead, take note of the color, make and model of the fleeing car as well as the license plate number if you can.
2. Do not unnecessarily block traffic. If your vehicle is drivable, pull over where it is safe.
3. Call 911 or the police as soon as possible and report the incident. Provide the emergency responder with the information you gathered including the direction of travel of the other vehicle and any injuries you or your passengers have sustained.
4. While waiting for the police to arrive speak to any witnesses on the scene and get their contact information. See if any witnesses got additional identifying information of the fleeing car and its driver, and provide it to the police.
5. Call your insurance company, report the incident, and arrange for towing and a rental car, if needed.
Before you leave the scene, take photos of the accident scene (if safe and possible) and of the damage to your car.
6. Call a personal injury attorney to help you locate the fleeing driver and hold them responsible for your damages by making a liability claim or filing a lawsuit. If the responsible driver is uninsured or cannot be found, an attorney can also review your policy, and assess the coverages that may help pay for your losses.
If you have been involved in a hit-and-run accident and have questions or need assistance, contact us for a free consultation at 704-335-0015. Our firm understands that not all accidents are the same, and specific circumstances may provide different options. Our firm will assess your case in detail, and discuss all your available options to maximize your recovery.