- The number of hit-and-run accidents rose 50% in 2017 from the year before.
- There were more than 15,000 hit-and-runs in North Carolina in 2016.
- Hit-and-run accidents totaled 13,612 in 2015.
Car accidents are frightening and stressful. They are loud, they are fast, and they are terrible for all involved. No one leaves their home expecting to be involved in a collision that day. Unfortunately, no one can predict when an accident will happen. Your entire life can change in the blink of an eye.
You know that when you are involved in an accident, (depending on the circumstances) you generally pull over and wait for police officers to arrive. But what happens when you are involved in a car accident and the other driver takes off? You may have an initial bout of panic, but don’t. There are steps you can take to protect yourself, even when the other driver doesn’t remain at the scene.
Following a Hit-and-Run Car Accident, you should:
- Get the license plate number of the other car if you are able to do so.
- Call 911 and report the accident. Be sure to tell the dispatcher that the other driver left and be prepared to provide a description of the vehicle and direction of travel.
- When the police arrive, be prepared to assist them with information they may request.
- Call your insurance company and make a claim.
If you are injured or your safety is at risk, all of this is secondary. In some cases, you won’t be able to get the license plate number of the other vehicle that left the scene. Don’t let that add to your anxiety or cause you to make any rash decisions that may affect your safety. Let the police do their job. Your first priority is ensuring that your medical needs and those of passengers in your vehicle are taken care of.
Just as there are things that you can do at the scene of the accident, there are things that you should not do.
Following a Hit-and-Run, you should NOT:
- Chase after the other driver.
- AGAIN, DO NOT CHASE AFTER THE OTHER VEHICLE!
- Block traffic. (If you can move your car safely, move it out of the way)
The majority of people involved in a vehicle collision remain on scene. They exchange information with other drivers and they wait for police to arrive. People typically leave the scene of an accident for one of several reasons including not having adequate insurance or a license to drive, they are driving a stolen vehicle or they already have legal issues that would prevent them from wanting to come into contact with law enforcement officers.
If they are ready to run from law enforcement, don’t think that they will pull over for you. It’s not worth the altercation and may only serve to make things worse. Remember that your car’s damage is certainly important but it is not worth risking your safety over.
Insurance or lack thereof?
Do not be overly concerned with not knowing the identity of the other driver or their potential lack of insurance coverage. A part of your policy may include coverage that protects you in cases where you are hit by an unknown or uninsured driver. If the other motorist is unknown or does not have insurance or has inadequate coverage, your own policy may very well kick in to protect you.
In summary, after a hit and run accident, do what you need to do to make sure that you and your passengers are safe, which includes calling 911, getting emergency medical treatment if necessary and getting to a place where you can safely wait for help. Also, we can’t say this enough: DO NOT CHASE AFTER THE OTHER DRIVER. Stay to wait for police to arrive to make sure that an accurate report is made. Filing a correct report will be vital to any potential claims that you may have to file with appropriate insurance companies.
Speak to a Charlotte Car Accident Lawyer Today
If you were hurt in a hit and run accident, call a Charlotte car accident attorney. Experienced accident injury lawyers understand the nuances of hit-and-run accidents and will fight for your rights. You can expect your attorney and their team to learn as much as they can about your accident so they can advise you of your best options for moving forward after your hit and run motor vehicle / car accident. That may include investigating your accident to attempt to locate the unknown driver, interviewing witnesses or inspecting the accident scene.
If you have been involved in a hit and run in North Carolina, our team is here for you. You may be entitled to compensation for compensable damages related to your medical bills, lost wages pain and suffering or more. You and your family do not have to suffer financial difficulties because someone else chose to ignore the law while also jeopardizing your health and safety.
Reach out to our personal injury attorneys today for your free case evaluation. We are here for you now. Call 1-855-969-5730 for a free case evaluation and to see how we may be able to help you!