If you were the victim of a hit-and-run accident, you might be unsure if you have any options available to you. You’re likely looking at injuries, mounting medical bills and damage to your property. You don’t deserve to be stuck with the costs of an accident that you didn’t cause. Continue reading to learn more about what to do when a negligent driver struck you then fled the scene.
What the Law Says About Hit-and-Runs
In the state of California, it is a criminal offense to leave the scene of an injury accident before the authorities arrive. The driver who hit you and caused your injuries will face criminal charges once they are identified and located.
But a criminal conviction won’t repay you for the cost of your injuries and damages. For that, you’ll need to file a civil claim against the negligent driver. This can feel like a daunting task when you don’t have legal experience and you’re just trying to get your life back on track. An experienced hit-and-run lawyer can help gather evidence that proves fault.
Notify the Local Authorities
Even if you feel fine and your car doesn’t appear to be damaged, notify the authorities immediately and wait for them to arrive. The officer who arrives on scene will take stock of the incident and file a police report. This is a document that will be crucial to successfully proving negligence in your case.
Collecting evidence that proves negligence is necessary in every car accident claim, but it’s especially important when you have an unidentified party. Before leaving the scene, take some time to write down everything you can remember about the accident. Answer questions such as the following:
- What color, make, or shape of the car?
- Did it have any outstanding features, such as bumper stickers or custom rims.
- Did you notice any aggressive or careless driving minutes before the collision, such as swerving, brake lights, or honking from surrounding vehicles?
Take pictures of your vehicle and the surrounding area. The police will also document the scene, but it can never hurt to have as much information as possible.
Seek Medical Attention
Documentation of your injuries is crucial. Even if you feel fine after the wreck, schedule a doctor’s evaluation. This can help in two ways: first, it will provide specific and professional information about your physical health directly after the accident. This can help prove that any injuries were the direct result of the accident and not something unrelated.
Second, car accidents are known to bring about injuries that you don’t notice at first. Conditions such as whiplash, for example, can surface several days or even weeks after the accident. Internal bleeding might not feel like an injury, but without treatment, it can be fatal.
Contact a Hit-and-Run attorney for Help Seeking Compensation
A car crash can be a traumatizing experience. Factor in a driver who leaves the scene without even checking if you’re OK and you’re likely feeling extremely violated and scared. Seek justice in the form of monetary compensation with the help of an Orange County hit-and-run lawyer.
The team at Dickson Kohan & Bablove LLP is ready when you are. Fill out the form below or dial 1-844-404-2400 for a free consultation.