After any type of motor vehicle accident, the law requires the individuals involved to follow certain procedures, such as reporting the accident to the police. A hit-and-run accident is one in which a driver intentionally leaves the scene without providing contact information after having caused an injury to a person or their property. Common instances of a hit-and-run accident include a car hits you and speeds off or when a driver hits your unattended parked car and does not leave any contact information.
Traffic laws in many states require that drivers identify themselves and exchange contact information with any other driver involved as soon as it is safe to do so. If the driver collides with a parked car, he or she must make reasonable effort to alert the property owner about what happened. For example, he or she should write down the vehicle’s plate number or leave a written notice at the scene with information for the other driver if property has been damaged. Serious criminal charges may ensue when a driver causes serious injuries or even death and chooses to leave the scene. In North Carolina and South Carolina, it is a felony to leave the scene of an accident if injury or death has occurred. If the driver knows or reasonably should know that his or her vehicle has been involved in an accident, the driver must remain at the scene of the accident until a law-enforcement officer arrives and conducts an investigation. The penalty for leaving can range from a misdemeanor to a felony, depending whether someone was hit and you believed that they were injured but did not stop and help him or her.
As a victim, you have legal options after an accident. You can file a lawsuit against the motorist who fled the scene for any property damage or injuries he or she caused you for negligently causing the collision and for any injuries that worsened as a result of the lack of assistance. Many times, however, victims are forced to recover from their own insurance policy unless the driver who fled the scene can be found through the use of video cameras or witness identification, or if they turn themselves in. Dealing with an insurance company on your own can be a challenge and you may benefit from having an experienced attorney negotiate with the company to ensure that you get the full compensation to which you are entitled.
If you or a loved one have been a victim of a hit-and-run accident, you likely feel confused and uncertain about what you need to do to be compensated for your loss and injury. You should contact an experienced lawyer who can inform you of your legal options. At the Tatum Law Firm, our accident attorney, Brian Steed Tatum, proudly serves clients across North Carolina and South Carolina. We have extensive experience with personal injury vehicle accidents. We will fight for your rights to help you seek the justice and compensation you deserve. Call our office at 704-307-4350 or contact us online for a free consultation.