Being involved in a hit and run accident can be quite confusing and frustrating. This is a relatively rare occurrence and once that no one can adequately prepare for. A hit and run accidents are constituted whenever the driver of a vehicle runs into another car, pedestrian or private property. Then they make the decision to drive away without identifying themselves or taking responsibility for the accident. Each year an estimated 750,000 hit and run cases happen every year in the United States. This culminates to nearly 400,000 injuries and unfortunately 2,000 deaths.
Questions that could be running through your mind include what should I do? Who should I talk to? Perhaps most importantly of all, should I speak with a car accident attorney? The good news is that even if you do not know who cause the accident, you still have legal options and methods for compensation. Below is some information to keep in mind should you or a loved one ever be involved in a hit and run accident.
Start by contacting your local police department
The most important thing to address at the scene of the accident are any immediate medical concerns. Make sure that you call 911 if necessary and let the dispatcher know that an ambulance is going to be required. If the car or truck accident mostly involves damage to your vehicle or property you should call the police right away. If you cannot find the phone number for the closet police department you can call 911 for a non-emergency accident. Once officers arrive a police report will generally be created. This process includes getting witness statements, creating accident scene diagrams and an official documentation of what the officers believe happened. It is always a good idea to support the police report with your own pictures and videos detailing the damage and non-life-threatening injuries that may have taken place.
Document as many details as possible
If you were fortunate enough to at least see the car or person that hit, you immediately write or record this information. You cell phone most likely have a voice recorder app so you can make a voice recording of everything you can recall. If this is not the case, you can always shoot a video and provide details of all relevant information you can recall. This includes the color of the vehicle, any license plate digits you may have seen, what the driver looked like and so forth. You can estimate the age of the person as well as their gender. Remember hit and runs are a serious criminal infraction so information that can lead to the arrest of the individual is vital to gather.
Speak with a legal representative
The unfortunate reality is that without identifying information, most hit, and runners get away with the crime and are not apprehended. There are many reasons that the driver will leave the scene of the accident, most commonly:
- The driver was under the influence of drugs and alcohol
- Lack of insurance
- The car was stolen
- The driver had outstanding arrest warrants
- Possession of stolen property or dugs
If you have been injured in or around Salt Lake City, UT we invite you to contact the legal professionals at Gooch & Robson Injury Lawyers. Our attorneys are happy to provide a free consultation where you can learn more about your case and what your options are. In most cases working with an advocate will help to ensure that you receive fair compensation for your accident. Call us today at (801) 534-7318 or schedule a consultation online via our contact page.