In the panic and shock of the moment, it can be challenging to think about your next steps after a hit-and-run accident. This FAQ offers suggestions about steps you can take if you suspect a hit-and-run in Decatur.
Hit-and-run injury cases are tricky and complicated, but you do not have to go through this experience alone. A Decatur car accident lawyer from Bader Scott Injury Lawyers could handle your injury claim or lawsuit, leaving you free to devote your attention to getting better.
What to Do Immediately After a Hit and Run Accident in Decatur
- Find out if anyone was hurt. If you or any passengers suffered severe injuries, call law enforcement. If paramedics come to the scene and suggest going to the hospital, go with them.
- If possible, safely pull off the road. If your vehicle is still drivable, you should get out of harm’s way and avoid getting hit by another car. You should still remain at the scene of the crash while you wait for first responders to arrive.
- Report the incident to the police. According to O.C.G.A. § 40-6-270, it is illegal in Georgia to leave the scene of an accident without exchanging insurance and contact information with those involved. You’re also required to report an accident that results in injuries, fatalities, or property damage.
- Collect evidence that could help the police catch the hit-and-run driver. Make a note of every detail you can remember about the fleeing vehicle, like its make, model, color, license plate, dents, rust spots, bumper stickers, and any other unique features. Also, note the street and direction the fleeing driver took.
- Capture evidence from the accident scene. These things could include the names and contact information of witnesses, along with the locations of red-light cameras. Take photos of your injuries, the damage to your vehicle, and other details of note.
- Notify your insurance company. Georgia requires all motorists to carry uninsured protection coverage. This could offer an avenue of seeking fair compensation if police can’t find the hit-and-run driver.
It is best to get medical attention right after the police release you to leave the scene. Also, be sure to share your evidence about the fleeing vehicle with the police to increase their chances of finding the hit-and-run driver.
AAA recommends that people avoid losing their tempers or chasing the other vehicle after a hit-and-run accident. You could get ticketed for leaving the scene of an accident illegally, and trying to run down the fleeing vehicle could be dangerous.
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Considerations After You Leave the Decatur Hit-and-Run Accident Scene
While there are many things at the accident scene that could bolster your personal injury claim or lawsuit, there are also considerations afterward. These considerations include:
- Adhering to your doctor’s treatment plan. Getting medical care is one thing. Adhering to your prescribed treatment plan helps you reach maximum medical improvement. It also prevents the insurer from contesting various aspects of your case.
- Documenting your damages. You want full compensation for your losses after a hit-and-run crash. Keep all medical bills, employment records, and anything else that could help you calculate your losses.
You can learn more dos and don’ts of auto accident claims when you begin your free case review with Bader Scott Injury Lawyers.
Potential Sources of Compensation for Your Losses from a Hit and Run Accident in Decatur
Many people feel hopeless about getting help with their losses after a hit-and-run crash, but you might have more options than you realize. Depending on your case’s facts, you could pursue compensation from one or more of these sources:
- The defendant’s liability insurance provider. Some hit-and-run drivers either get caught or turn themselves in eventually. They might have simply panicked, or they want to wait until they think they can pass a breathalyzer test before going to the police.
- The defendant’s current and future assets. Let’s say that the driver was uninsured or did not have enough insurance to fully cover your losses. People are still responsible for the harm they cause. If you go to court and get a judgment against the at-fault driver, you could enforce it against the defendant’s bank accounts, wages, or other assets.
- Other insurance policies, like “umbrella” liability insurance commonly linked to a homeowner’s insurance policy. Quite a few people add a rider to their homeowner’s policy to protect themselves from losing everything due to a legal claim. Some liability policies exclude coverage for hit-and-run accidents. The language of the policy will say what it does and does not cover.
- Other liable parties. Sometimes, more than one party is at fault for causing or contributing to a crash. If one party flees the scene illegally, you could still proceed against the other driver who stayed at the scene of the accident.
- Your automobile insurance policy. As noted, if you have uninsured motorist or underinsured motorist coverage on your policy, you might be able to seek compensation for your physical injuries under your own policy. How much you can recover depends on the liable policy’s limits.
Your Decatur car accident lawyer could identify other potential sources to help pay your financial losses. For example, if the hit-and-run driver was driving while on the job, their employer might face some liability. Also, their boss might have more insurance than the individual motorist.
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Get Legal Help With Your Decatur Hit and Run Accident Claim
Bader Scott Injury Lawyers isn’t afraid to take on complex hit-and-run accident claims. We believe in helping people who suffer injuries due to negligence.
We can investigate your claim, cooperate with law enforcement, and deal directly with the insurance companies on your behalf. We handle car accident cases on a contingency-fee basis, so you will not have to pay upfront legal fees.
It is easy to get started. Simply reach out to our personal injury attorneys today for a free initial consultation.