Victims of hit-and-run crashes involving drivers who fled the scene are often angry, confused and in pain from any injuries they suffered. They may be unsure of how to even begin pursuing compensation for medical bills and other damages.
If you were involved in this kind of crash, there are several steps you can take. Our experienced Baton Rouge car accident lawyers offer a free consultation for hit-and-run accident victims. We understand what you are feeling and are ready to pursue for the justice and compensation you are entitled.
What Is a Hit-and-Run Accident?
State law requires motorists to stop after getting in an accident and to provide aid to any victims. Additionally, motorists must exchange contact and insurance information. If a person intentionally leaves the scene of an accident without following these steps, it is considered a hit-and-run accident.
These crashes often occur because the other driver is:
- Driving under the influence of drugs, alcohol or prescription medication
- Distracted by his or her cellphone or something else inside the car
There are many reasons why drivers flee the scene. For example, there may be cases when the driver did not realize he or she hit another vehicle.
However, there are many other cases where the driver does not have insurance, he or she is involved in a crime, or he or she has a warrant out for arrest. This is why it is never a good idea for the victim in a hit-and-run crash to chase the driver. You should leave that to the police, in case the driver is dangerous.
What to Do if You Have Been Injured in a Hit-and-Run Accident
It can be difficult to think rationally after a hit-and-run accident. This is why you should think about what to do before an accident occurs. Some of the steps you can take include:
- Staying calm – Try to remain calm. Being composed can help you think clearly and logically. Staying angry can also hurt your chances of finding the driver. You may have just a few seconds to get a look at the vehicle and its driver, so you do not have time to be angry.
- Jotting down information – Try to write down as much information as you can as quickly as possible. Having more information can help increase the likelihood that the police will be able to identify the driver and the vehicle he or she was operating. This information will also be invaluable when filing an insurance claim. Write down information about the vehicle, such as its make, model and license plate number. If your car was parked, write down the approximate time your vehicle was hit, the location and a summary of the damage.
- Looking for witnesses – Someone nearby may have seen what happened. This person's recollections may help police locate the driver. Write down the person's contact information as well in case you or your attorney needs to contact him or her in the future. You should also check the area for traffic cameras, businesses with surveillance cameras or any other location where cameras may have recorded the accident. An attorney can help you obtain this footage.
- Taking pictures of the accident scene – Take photos of the accident scene from different angles. This includes pictures of the damage to your vehicle, such as dents or scraped paint.
- Seeking medical attention – No matter what you think about your injuries, you need medical treatment from medical professionals. This helps to link the accident to your injuries.
Contact a Lawyer About Your Accident
If you were injured in a hit-and-run accident, it is important that you act quickly. The longer police officers have to spend looking, the less likely it is the driver will be found. If he or she is not found, it may be more difficult to obtain fair compensation.
You should also strongly consider contacting an attorney. The sooner you make contact, the sooner he or she can go to work for you. Negotiating fair insurance compensation can take time so it is best to get started as soon as possible.
An experienced Baton Rouge car accident lawyer from Simien & Simien can explain your legal options. We offer a free consultation, so you can learn about your rights and we can discuss your case in more detail. We work on a contingency fee basis, so we do not charge any attorney fees unless you recover compensation for your claim.