Any car accident can lead to injuries, damages, unexpected expenses, and frustration. When the other driver doesn’t stay to take responsibility for their part in the accident and leaves the scene of the accident, those frustrations are much worse. Hit-and-run accidents cause emotional and well as physical damage. In most other traffic collisions, you can obtain the other driver’s information so you can handle insurance or any subsequent lawsuits, but if the other driver flees the scene, what should you do?
File a Report
Most states require you call the police if there’s been a car crash. If another driver hits you and drives away, call the police immediately. It may be difficult to focus if you’re dazed from the crash but try to provide the police with as much information about the crash and the other car as possible. Remember not to assign fault to yourself in doing so. Even offhanded comments like “I didn’t see the other car,” or “I’m sorry,” can be deemed an admission of fault and hurt your chances of claiming compensation for your damages.
Try to provide the police with an accurate description of the car and driver. Let them know which part of the other vehicle hit yours so they can keep an eye out for vehicles that match the description and show damage from the crash. If you’re involved in a car accident at any time, it’s a good idea to take down the other driver’s license plate as soon as you can, just in case he or she decides to try to flee at any point.
See a Doctor
If you suffered any injury from the crash, see a doctor as soon as possible, even if the wounds seem slight. Many internal injuries are undetectable until they become severe, so have yourself checked by a doctor to ascertain the full extent of your injuries. Your doctor should be able to provide you with a medical report detailing your injuries, the doctor’s treatment plan for you, and any resulting side effects or permanent damage. This is invaluable information that will help you build a case.
Retain an Injury Attorney in West Virginia
Even if the other driver hasn’t been caught yet, reach out to a reliable West Virginia personal injury attorney to discuss your case. Your attorney will work with the police and conduct an investigation into your accident. Most personal injury attorneys offer contingency fee payment terms, meaning you don’t have to pay any legal fees unless they win your case and secure compensation for your damages. They’ll take a percentage of the amount the courts award you.
Hit and run cases can take a long time to resolve, or even begin. If the other driver is never found, you may have to rely on a claim through your insurance company to compensate your losses. However, insurance companies typically try to do what they can to avoid paying the full amount on your policy. An attorney will help you handle the claims process and ensure you get the full amount of your policy or the maximum amount your policy dictates for your specific damages.
Hit and run cases can be extremely stressful, so find a West Virginia car accident lawyer in whom you are confident. If the other driver is found, a good attorney will help you with a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver. In some cases, a judge may increase the amount the other driver must pay in recompense due to his or her decision to illegally flee the scene. If, in an unfortunate scenario, no one is able to find the other driver, an attorney can still be helpful in dealing with your insurance company and finding other avenues of compensation for your injuries and damages.