A hit-and-run refers to a car accident where the driver who caused the crash fails to stop and provide their contact information, insurance, license and vehicle registration number to the driver of the car that was hit. In these cases, the driver that caused the collision might have left the scene of the accident because they were too nervous and worried about what would happen to them if they had stayed or simply because they didn’t care about the damage they just caused.
What happens to you if you are the victim of a hit and run?
In most cases, when there is no other driver, your best bet is to turn to your own insurance. The amount that you may recover will be determined by the limits established by your policy.
The police might be able to help you if you were able to get a good look at the other car and took down their license plate number. Once you report the other car to the police, they would handle the case as they do any other criminal charge.
What happens if you are the driver who hit another car and left the scene of the accident?
These days there seems to be so much technology all around that it should not surprise you if the police find you. Maybe the other driver took down your license plate number, or maybe the accident was caught on video surveillance. Whatever the reason, if you are found, you will likely be held liable in civil court for the financial impact on the other driver or drivers. This includes their medical bills, loss of wages, among other losses.
Additionally, you may face criminal charges, which could include financial penalties, time spent in jail, the suspension of your driver’s license, and others.
Why do people willingly choose to leave the scene of a car accident?
There are plenty of reasons why a driver that caused an accident would decide not to stick around. The simplest one may be as easy as not having car insurance. However, other reasons may include:
- Knowing that illegal weapons, contraband, alcohol, or drugs, would have been found in their possession.
- They are driving a vehicle that is stolen.
- Being under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- There is a pending arrest warrant against them for another crime.
- They are a minor and was driving without their parents’ knowledge or permission.
In short, they leave because they have what they believe to be a strong reason why they should not be caught.
Can the driver who caused the collision get legal representation?
Yes, in these cases, a Jacksonville car accident attorney might claim that the driver responsible for the accident was not aware that any damage had been caused. They may also claim that there is not enough evidence to convict their client or that it was not their client who was driving that day. The purpose of these arguments is to find the defendant not guilty of the charges against them.
What if you are the victim?
The best advice is not to try and chase after the driver who hit you. You may hurt yourself further and cause other collisions. Call the police to the scene and have them file a report and give you a copy. Then, call your insurance company. You don’t want to have your claim denied because you took too long to inform them of the accident. It may also be helpful to write down as many details as you can remember when they are still fresh in your mind.