Car accidents can be overwhelming for everyone involved, leaving those involved in distress and sometimes panic. Occasionally, the at-fault driver may attempt to leave the scene of the collision, this is a hit-and-run. There can be a number of reasons why people flee the collision scene: they were under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they may have outstanding arrest warrants, they don’t have car insurance, or they just got scared and decided to run away.
In South Carolina, both parties have to stay present at the scene until law enforcement can arrive and document the accident. It is important to follow the law so the accident can be properly documented, injured persons can get medical help if needed, and the drivers can obtain each other’s contact information and insurance information.
What to Do and Not to Do After a Hit and Run
DO call 911 so law enforcement can properly file a report for the accident. If you are able to retain a license plate number, the officer may be able to locate the vehicle that hit you.
DO give the officer as much information as possible, any detail is helpful even if you don’t think so. Some examples would be the license plate number, the make and model of the car, car color, which way the other car left, location, date, and time of the accident, and photos of your vehicle’s damages.
DO get medical attention. Although you may feel fine, some injuries may not be symptomatic and can develop later. It is important that your injuries are accurately diagnosed so that you can get treatment.
DO look to see if there are any witnesses to the collision. If you cannot remember details from the impact, someone around you may have seen something that can help with your case.
DO NOT follow the other person, you can risk getting into another accident, miss witnesses, and can compromise the officer’s opinions on who hit who.
DO NOT wait to report the hit and run. You will want a report or accident claim as soon as possible, not only for the police record but also for your insurance company later when assessing damages done.
The Driver is Never Found
In over 90% of cases, the hit-and-run driver is never found. However, you could still have options for recovering compensation. South Carolina allows you to file a lawsuit against the “John or Jane Doe” who left the crash scene. This lawsuit can get the accident damage and medical costs covered by the uninsured motorist portion of your car insurance.
To use this coverage, you will need to meet the following:
- Report the accident within a reasonable timeframe after it happens.
- You have had contact with the other vehicle that caused the crash and injuries OR you had a car accident and hit something other than the hit-and-run vehicle, BUT the other vehicle caused the accident. You must have a witness to the accident that is willing to sign an affidavit to confirm either of these.
- You are not negligent in identifying the hit-and-run driver.
Contact Us Today for Help
If you are hurt in a hit-and-run accident, the experienced car accident injury attorneys of Cavanaugh & Thickens are here for you. We know that you are going through a tough time and would like to represent you so that you get the compensation you deserve. We are here so that you don’t pay out of pocket for someone else’s negligent actions.
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation by calling or contacting us online today.