By Kristin Hart, Attorney at Law
A hit and run accident occurs when one party flees the scene of an automobile accident. The accident may be a minor fender bender or something serious in which other drivers or passengers are seriously injured. The most common reason that people exit accident scenes is their lack of insurance – the guilty party may not have coverage and may therefore try avoiding criminal charges, while some people may leave the scene of the accident out of pure fear. However, the injured party must take steps to recover his or her losses no matter what the reason for the hit and run. A Durham auto accident attorney can help.
How to Handle a Hit and Run
The first step the victim should take in handling a hit and run is to call the police. The chances of catching the offender are greater if the victim contacts the local police as quickly as possible. While the police are in transit, the victim should take an assessment of the vehicle and all parties who were involved in the accident. He or she should take notes about the damages and the injuries. Taking pictures of the vehicles and accident scene is also a good idea if one of the parties has access to camera.
Accident victims should try to remember as much as possible about the offender and the vehicle to share this information with the police. The police can work well with a license plate number or make and model information. This may not be possible in all situations, but it is excellent information for the beginning of an investigation. The victim will need to explain the incidents leading up to the accident to the police officer who takes the statement. He or she will also want to file a police report, even if the offender’s identity is unknown. A police report will help with the next step in the process – the insurance claim.
While the police work to find the offender, the accident victim will need to take the necessary steps to recover their damages from the insurance company involved. Hiring a reputable Durham auto accident attorney at this point is important in maximizing one’s efforts for receiving compensation for one’s damages. Those damages may include auto repairs, rental car fees, medical bills, permanent injury, and other monetary expenses incurred from the accident.
If you need help with a hit and run accident, contact a Durham auto accident attorney today to protect your interests.