What to Do if You Are the Victim of a Hit-and-Run AccidentSeptember 25, 2013
Leaving the scene of an accident is not only unethical — it is also against the law. Yet, a surprising number of hit-and-run accidents occur every year. Hit-and-run drivers are often intoxicated or lack auto insurance. Fleeing the scene is a last-ditch effort to avoid the severe penalties of a DUI charge or uninsured motorist criminal charge. Meanwhile, the crash victims are often left with the physical and financial consequences of their injuries.
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety estimates that almost 1,500 people are killed by hit-and-run drivers every year. According to the AAA organization, approximately 11 percent of all reported accidents involve a fleeing driver. This problem shows no sign of abating, as pointed out in the September 2011 The Washington Post article titled “AAA sees ‘troubling’ trend in hit-and-run accidents” that reported on the latest pedestrian hit-and-run accident in the tri-state region — that of a man killed in College Park by a fleeing driver.
If you are the victim of a hit-and-run driver, you can take steps to protect your personal safety and to preserve your legal claim, including:
- Write down a detailed description of the vehicle — including its color, make, model and license plate number and state
- Snap photos of the automobile if your phone is readily available
- Call police immediately to report the location of the accident and a description of the automobile and direction it was travelling
- Obtain appropriate medical care immediately
- Contact your insurance company as soon as possible — you may be covered by your uninsured motorists policy
Even if you are able to, do not chase the driver. You risk causing another accident by taking matters into your own hands.
As a witness to a hit-and-run accident, you can help law enforcement apprehend the fleeing driver and assist the victim by remaining at the scene to provide a statement and your contact information to police. And if you or a loved one has been injured in a hit-and-run accident, the Baltimore auto accident lawyers at Leviness, Tozlman & Hamilton, P.A. can assist you in obtaining the compensation you deserve. Call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.