Striking a person or property with a vehicle can spark some very primitive human instincts. While this is obviously traumatizing for the victim, the driver of the car can also experience psychological lapses which alter their normal reactions and behaviors. Fight or flight kicks in, and a first impulse is to run away—flee the scene. Of course, this is perhaps the worst choice a driver can make when they have struck another vehicle or person. Fleeing the scene of an accident is known as a “hit and run” and comes with some very serious consequences.
At Peter Davis Law, your Paterson personal injury attorney, we want you to be armed with the knowledge that you need to pursue your personal injury case. A hit and run accident is a very serious incident that requires a careful hand to correctly complete the claim. If you would like legal advice or support, do not hesitate to contact a representative from our firm. Here is a general overview of how you should handle a hit and run car accident.
What Qualifies as a Hit and Run?
When most people think about hit and run accidents, they imagine a driver who strikes another vehicle or pedestrian, and then speeds away hoping to never be caught again. While this most definitely would be considered a hit and run, there are other, less obvious scenarios that fit the bill as well. For instance, if a person causes an accident, speeds away and then has a sudden comeback of consciousness, making the choice to turn around and go back to the scene, they can still be charged with a hit in run. In fact, this is quite common. However, if a driver gets into an accident and continues driving briefly for the purpose of reaching a payphone or assistance to notify authorities of the incident, a hit and run charge might not be pressed.
Many states also consider hitting an animal and leaving it behind a hit and run as well. It is important to know that the laws that outline hit and run incidents are not limited to the roadways—you can be charged with a hit and run in parking lots and driveways as well.
How to Handle a Hit and Run
If you are the victim of a hit and run incident, you should immediately contact police and your insurance company. Try very hard to remember everything you can about the driver that hit you, as this will help law enforcement officials complete their investigation. When notifying your insurance company, be sure that your plan is complete with coverage that will shield you from financial burden even if another driver’s insurance information is unavailable. If you are not sure if your policy has this extension, contact your insurance agency to have it added.
Getting Legal Counsel
Navigating a hit and run claim, especially if the driver is not charged, can be tricky. Having an experienced team of legal counselors by your side could be the key to winning. At Peter Davis Law, your Paterson personal injury attorney, we are determined to get you the compensation that you deserve. For more information, visit our practice areas page or contact a representative with our firm today.