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What to Do If You Are A Hit and Run Accident  

Experienced Attorney

A car accident is an unfortunate, stressful incident that many drivers will have to face at some point in their life. A car accident is complicated enough even when both parties have insurance and exchange information. What happens though, when the other party flees the scene? You may think that hit and run accidents are rare, but they account for eleven percent of all traffic incidents and that number is on the rise. Some insurance policies do not cover this type of incident, so it is important to know your rights following a hit and run accident.  

The most important thing to remember in a hit and run accident is to stay at the scene of the accident and call the police. It may be tempting to chase after the other vehicle, but this will only put you and other drivers at risk. You should try and take down as much information about the other vehicle as possible including color, make, model, license plate and the direction the vehicle was heading. The more details you have, the better the chance is that a police officer will be able to locate the other driver. 

Most states have a law that requires all drivers remain on scene at an accident. Drivers have a duty of care following a car accident that include responsibilities like sharing insurance information and alerting emergency services if someone is injured. If a person breaches this duty of care, it comes with serious consequences both criminally and civilly. Depending on the severity of the accident and if any injuries were sustained, leaving the scene of an accident can be either a misdemeanor or felony charge. In addition to the criminal charge, in the injured party can file a lawsuit to recover damages as a result of the other party’s negligence and criminal actions. Damages recovered can include medical bills and vehicle repairs. In these situations, the injured party can sometimes collect punitive damages as well. Punitive damages are a way to punish the offending party for their reckless behavior and harm they caused. If the offending party is convicted in criminal court, it will strengthen the civil case. It is important to consult an experienced attorney who can help build a case to recover damages from a hit and run accident.

Unfortunately, in some hit and run accidents, the other party cannot be located. This results in the injured party having to collect from their own insurance policy. Some states are no fault states and will allow the insured to make a no-fault claim. An experienced attorney will be able to walk you through your various legal options.

Hit and run accidents, even the minor fender benders in a crowded parking lot, can lead to confusing, complicated legal cases. It is important to never leave the scene of an accident, always file a police report and consult an experienced personal injury lawyer about your legal rights and course of action to recover damages. 

Experienced Attorney Adam R. Leighton is an AV-Rated lawyer, who focuses his practice in the area of medical negligence, automobile, and premises matters.

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