Motor vehicle accidents can happen in the blink of an eye. The aftermath, however, is typically less fleeting. As Pennsylvania laws state, the parties involved are expected to stop, assess the damage and exchange contact and insurance information. Sadly, this doesn’t happen if you are hit by a driver who flees the accident scene.
In these situations, your first priority should be to get medical attention right away if you or your loved one is injured. However, if you are able to, you will also want to take the following steps in order to identify the driver and hold him or her accountable for damages.
- Record or write down any information you have about the other vehicle. This would include the color, make or model, license plate or any identifying characteristics of the vehicle.
- Talk to witnesses and get their contact information. Without this information, there may be no way to track them down later for their help.
- Call the police. Even if you think the damage is minor or you feel like there is nothing they can do to help, filing a police report will be critical in documenting the accident.
- Consult an attorney. Legal representatives have knowledge and investigative resources you may not, meaning they often know what to look for and how to find it. This can result in discovery of vital evidence that ultimately leads to identification of the driver.
Acting logically can seem impossible in the chaos and confusion of a hit-and-run accident, and you may not remember or be able to do each of these things. However, if you remember nothing else, remember that you have rights as an accident victim, including the right to work with an attorney and pursue compensation from a negligent driver.
Hit-and-run drivers are exceptionally irresponsible. Not only are they trying to escape liability for an accident, they are willing to leave behind a potentially injured person to do so. This is why they can face both civil penalties and criminal penalties for fleeing an accident scene, and why it is so important to identify them and hold them accountable for damages.