Hit and run accidents are all too common, and can be absolutely horrifying for those left behind. If you are the victim of a hit and run accident, then you have been through a great tragedy and Decatur, DeKalb County attorney Andrew Lynch can help ensure that you get the compensation that you deserve.
According to the Official Code of Georgia §40-6-270, if someone is involved in any kind of accident where a person is injured or a car is damaged, than there is a “duty of [the] driver to stop at or return to scene of accident”. That driver is required by law to stay at the scene of the accident until:
- License and registration information has been exchanged by all people involved, as well as everyone’s names and addresses.
- Local law enforcement has been contacted and is on the scene.
- If necessary, emergency aid services are adequately provided to any and all injured persons.
If you have been involved in an accident where someone did not stay until all of the above has been completed, then you have been the victim of a very serious crime. Hit and run is a misdemeanor in most cases, but if a death or serious injury occurs then it is a felony offense.
As soon as the person flees, you need to call the police and seek medical attention. Immediately write down as much information as you can find on the car that hit you as well, and give it to the police when they arrive. If you can, try and take pictures of any damage done. Also see if you can get the contact information from any witnesses to the accident, and ask them to speak to the police as well. Though this can add stress to an already frightening event, it will help you significantly down the road. Once you know that everyone, including yourself, is okay and has received the attention they need, contact attorney Andrew Lynch.
When someone harms you, your family, or your property in a car accident, it is their responsibility to fix that damage. That person fleeing the scene, without ensuring that you are unharmed, is wrong, and it certainly does not release them of that responsibility to you. Regardless of the reason they fled, you must hold them to their duty as a Georgia driver to stay at the scene of the accident. Make sure that they right the wrongs they have inflicted on you by contacting Decatur, DeKalb County lawyer Andrew Lynch immediately for a free consultation.
Hit and Run Accidents Involving Pedestrians
One of the most vulnerable groups of “commuters” are pedestrians. Many people who are hit by vehicles suffer serious and often life-threatening injuries. As a Decatur, GA hit and run accident attorney can attest, many of these accidents are caused by the reckless behavior of the drivers of the vehicles who hit vulnerable pedestrians. Pedestrian accident victims are entitled to pursue financial compensation against drivers who have failed to exercise a reasonable duty of care when operating their vehicles. This financial compensation helps to restore an individual’s accident-related economic losses suffered because of the harm caused, including medical expenses, lost income and benefits, and pain and suffering.
When the injuries the victims suffer are so severe that they do not survive, then their family may be able to pursue a wrongful death claim under Georgia law. An experienced Decatur, Georgia hit and run accident attorney can help victims and their families file either personal injury or wrongful death lawsuits after learning about the details of any given accident.
Unfortunately, with many pedestrian accidents, the driver fails to stay on the scene and ends up fleeing. National statistics reveal that one in five pedestrian accidents involve a hit and run driver. In these cases, witnesses to the event become crucial in providing information that results in apprehending the guilty driver. An experienced Decatur, Georgia hit and run accident attorney can help to ensure that witness testimony is properly documented.
It may seem foreign to many of us that a driver would actually flee the scene after striking a victim with their vehicle. Not only does the law require drivers involved in any type of accident to stop, but, to many people, it is also the “right” thing to do. But there are several common reasons cited by fleeing drivers as to why they leave the scene of an accident. These include:
- They do not have a valid driver’s license
- The vehicle they are driving is not registered
- They do not have liability insurance on their vehicle
- They were involved in activity or behavior that is illegal at the time of the accident, such as driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs
- Their citizenship status is illegal
- They think they can get away with any responsibility for the accident
Witnesses to a hit and run pedestrian crash are often able to provide police with key information and descriptions that enable police to catch the hit and run driver. This information can include:
- The license plate number of the vehicle
- A description of the driver
- Description of the vehicle, such as make, model, and color
Many times, law enforcement will take witness information and relay it to the public to aid in the apprehension of the driver, utilizing local news outlets and social media.
If You Have Been Hit
If you or a loved one has been hit by a fleeing driver, contact police right away so they can catch the driver. Even if you do not think you have suffered serious injury, seek medical treatment immediately. There are many pedestrian accident injuries that may have delayed symptoms, such as brain or internal injuries, and delay of treatment can be dangerous.
You also want to contact an experienced Decatur, Georgia hit and run accident attorney as soon as you possibly can. Once the hit and run driver has been identified, you will be able to file a claim against his or her insurance company for your injuries and your attorney can advocate for you through this process. When a driver flees the scene of an accident, they are breaking the law so there will likely be criminal charges filed against the driver. Finally, you may be able to file a personal injury claim against the driver. The legal team at the Law Offices of Andrew Lynch will do all we can to get you the justice and financial compensation you deserve.
Steps To Take After a hit and run Accident
Your trusted Georgia hit and run accident lawyer knows that experiencing a hit and run accident can be a distressing and confusing situation. If you find yourself a victim of a hit and run, it’s essential to take immediate action to protect your well-being, gather information, and increase the chances of identifying the responsible party. When you are ready, reach out to the team at The Law Offices Of Andrew Lynch to see how we can help your case.
- Check for Injuries: The first priority is your safety and the safety of others involved. Check yourself and any passengers for injuries. If anyone requires medical attention, call for an ambulance immediately.
- Move to a Safe Location: If possible and if it’s safe, move your vehicle out of traffic to a safe location. This helps prevent further accidents and ensures your safety while dealing with the situation.
- Call the Police: Contact the police to report the hit and run accident. Provide them with accurate information about the incident, your location, and any injuries sustained. A police report will be important for insurance claims and potential legal action.
- Document the Scene: Use your phone or a camera to take photos of the accident scene, your vehicle’s damage, the location of the impact, and any debris on the road. This visual evidence can be valuable for insurance claims and investigations.
- Notify Your Insurance Company: Contact your insurance company as soon as possible to report the hit and run accident. Provide them with all the details you have gathered, including the police report number and any witness information. Your insurance company will guide you through the claims process.
- Seek Medical Attention: Even if you don’t feel injured immediately after the accident, some injuries may become apparent later. It’s advisable to seek medical attention promptly to ensure any injuries are diagnosed and treated appropriately.
- Contact a Lawyer: If the hit and run resulted in significant injuries or property damage, consider consulting a personal injury attorney. They can help you understand your rights, guide you through the legal process, and advise you on how to pursue compensation if the responsible party is identified. Your Georgia hit and run accident lawyer will be crucial to your claim.
- Cooperate with Authorities: Assist law enforcement in their investigation by providing accurate information and cooperating fully. Your input could help them identify the at-fault driver.
- Search for Witnesses: If there were any witnesses to the accident, ask them for their contact information. Their statements could prove crucial in identifying the hit and run driver.
- Social Media and Local News: Consider sharing information about the hit and run on social media and local news outlets. Sometimes, community awareness can lead to tips that help identify the responsible party.
- Keep Records: Maintain a record of all expenses related to the accident, including medical bills, vehicle repair costs, and any other financial losses. These records will be useful when pursuing compensation.
Remember that hit and run accidents can be emotionally overwhelming. Staying calm, collecting information, and following these steps will increase the likelihood of a successful outcome, both in terms of identifying the responsible party and seeking compensation for your damages. When you are ready to move forward with your claim, reach out to The Law Offices Of Andrew Lynch to see how our Georgia hit and run accident lawyer can help you.