Most drivers have either been involved in an auto accident themselves or know someone who has. After all, auto accidents are a very real risk that every driver faces on a daily basis. Thankfully, most drivers are also fairly familiar with the steps that they should take immediately after being involved in a car accident, such as exchanging their driver’s license, insurance, and contact information. Most drivers also know that it’s a wise idea to take out their phone and snap a few photos of the involved vehicles and the scene of the Georgia car accident. However, when one of the involved driver’s decides to flee the scene of an auto accident, understanding the appropriate steps to take after the hit and run becomes a bit more difficult.
Unfortunately, this scenario is all too common. Whether motivated by fear of the consequences or by the desire to evade financial responsibility, hit and run accidents are a frequent occurrence in the Douglasville, Georgia area. If you find yourself on the wrong end of a hit and run, do not waste any time seeking the guidance of a legal representative.
At the Law Office of John B. Jackson, you will find a reputable car accident attorney in Douglasville, Georgia. Contact us today and we can help you navigate the legal issues that you will inevitably find yourself faced with in the aftermath of a hit and run auto accident.
Steps You Should Take After a Hit and Run Car Accident in Georgia
Report the Hit and Run to the Georgia Police
The first thing that you should know about a hit and run auto accident is that it is a criminal offense to flee the scene of an accident. Under Georgia law, a driver involved in an auto accident is required to provide you with their name and contact information as well as their registration and driver’s license information.
Even further, if you have sustained an injury as a result of an auto accident, the other driver must offer their assistance and call 911 to ensure that you receive the necessary medical attention.
Depending on the severity of the accident, a driver that flees the scene of a Georgia auto accident could be charged with a misdemeanor or even a felony. He or she may also face jail time in addition to a hefty fine.
If you find yourself on the wrong end of a hit and run, the very first thing that you should do is report this crime to the police. Once you file a police report, the police will be able to conduct an investigation and attempt to locate and conclusively identify the driver that fled the scene of your hit and run auto accident.
At this point, while you can certainly acknowledge that it would bring you tremendous satisfaction to know that the guilty driver will face the criminal consequences of his or her actions, you are likely thinking that any resulting satisfaction, however great, is not going to pay for the damage to your vehicle or the medical expenses associated with your accident- related injuries.
This concern is completely understandable. It is a very real concern that all victims of hit and run accidents struggle with. However, filing a police report immediately after a hit and run accident is a win-win situation. Not only will the guilty driver be more likely to face the criminal consequences of his actions, but you will be armed with the identity of the guilty party from whom you can seek compensation for your accident-related injuries and damages. Needless to say, you will be in a much better position with respect to sufficiently documenting your case and acquiring key evidence, should a personal injury action become necessary down the line.
Take Notes and Snap Photos
Following a hit and run accident, it will be extremely important that you to take photographs of your vehicle, the scene of the accident, and even the fleeing vehicle – should you happen to be fast enough to get a snapshot before the vehicle is out of sight.
In addition, try to take note of the exact location of the accident as well as the events that led to the collision in the first place. If there is anything significant about the flow of traffic or direction of travel, take note of that, as well.
Information will always be more reliable when it is fresh in your mind. It is a well-known fact that memories fade with time. You are going to want the ability to refresh your memory at a later time when pursuing compensation for your accident-related injuries and damages, which is why it is important to write everything down and to take pictures of the area with your phone, if possible.
Make sure that you also jot down any and all information that you can recall about the fleeing driver. What was the make, model, or color of his vehicle? Do you remember any of the letters or numbers in his license plate? What about characteristics of the fleeing driver him or herself? Do not neglect to document this information when it is fresh in your mind.
File a Claim With Insurance
If you are ultimately able to locate the fleeing driver from your hit and run accident, you will likely be able to collect damages from this driver’s insurance company. However, should you be unable to locate this driver, you may be left with no recourse but to file a uninsured/underinsured claim with your own insurance company to seek compensation for your accident- related injuries and damages.
Consult with a Georgia Personal Injury Attorney Today
Most importantly, you should reach out to an experienced personal injury attorney after a hit and run car accident to ensure that you receive the compensation that you are entitled to under Georgia law. An attorney can help you investigate the facts and circumstances of your accident, assist you in locating the fleeing party, and advise you of your legal options and potential avenues of recovery. Let experienced personal injury lawyer, John B. Jackson help you navigate the aftermath of your hit and run accident.