Hit and run accidents kill about 1,500 people every year according to the American Automobile Association (AAA). Although most are pedestrians, drivers and passengers may be affected as well, so if you find yourself in a car accident with a driver who leaves the scene, make sure you understand what to do.
A hit and run driver is one who hits another vehicle or a pedestrian and drives away. Often, the runaway driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Some drivers fail to stop because they fear the penalties.
If the driver is uninsured or has a warrant out for his or her arrest then leaving the scene may seem more appealing than staying and suffering penalties for violating state laws. In addition, some drivers – such as teens and other inexperienced drivers – may not know what to do and leave the scene in a panic.
This can make it difficult to recover compensation for damages, but there are some things you can do that may make the process easier. For one, a Colorado car accident lawyer may be helpful when dealing with the legal aspects of recovering compensation for damages.
First Steps After a Hit and Run Accident
Never chase the other driver, as this can prove dangerous and may even lead to another accident. The first thing you should do in a hit and run is call the police to report the incident. Even if you have very little information to give the officer, it can be used to facilitate the claims process. Plus, you will have the incident officially documented should you need to take the case to court.
Try to gather as much information about the incident as possible.
If you saw the vehicle that hit you, record a detailed description, including the:
- model; and
- license plate of the car, if possible.
The time and location are also important pieces of information. If you can, look for witnesses who can attest that you or your car was in fact hit by another vehicle.
Take pictures of the scene if possible, snapping photographs of:
- your damaged vehicle;
- any damage to objects in the area;
- skid marks in the road;
- weather conditions;
- your injuries; and
- anything else that may be applicable to the accident.
Recovering Compensation After a Hit and Run Accident
This can be difficult, which is why it is important to provide the police with as much information as possible.
If the other driver is never located, you can rely on uninsured motorist coverage – if it is already included as part of your policy – to cover damages. If the driver is located, then you may file a claim against his or her insurance. If the person has no insurance, another option may be to try to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
Contacting Car Accident Lawyer D.J. Banovitz in Colorado
If you were involved in a hit and run accident, make sure you understand your options for recovering compensation for damages. Contact the D.J. Banovitz Personal Injury Law at (303) 300-5060. A Colorado car accident lawyer can provide legal assistance following a hit and run accident and can assist in building a claim.