Even minor fender benders can be a major inconvenience. But when a driver flees the accident scene, the situation becomes much more dire. If you were involved in a hit and run in Charleston, our car accident lawyers can help. Our team will never steer you wrong, fighting relentlessly for the damages you deserve.
Steps to Take After a Hit and Run
If you have been injured in a hit-and-run accident, be sure to do the following:
STEP 1: CALL THE POLICE.
Make 911 your first call after a car accident, especially if the other driver leaves the scene. It is crucial to file an accident report with the police. Plus, law enforcement may be able to identify and locate the other driver.
STEP 2: SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION.
When you call 911, be sure to mention that emergency medical services are needed. Even if you do not require medical care at the scene, be sure to visit your doctor as soon as possible – even if you do not think you sustained any accident injuries.
STEP 3: RECORD ACCIDENT DETAILS.
Write down everything you remember about the car accident, including the make, model and color of other vehicles involved. If you noticed anything about the driver, record this information too.
STEP 4: GET WITNESSES’ CONTACT INFO.
If there were any witnesses present, get this contact information and encourage them to speak to the police when they arrive.
STEP 5: DOCUMENT THE ACCIDENT SCENE.
Take photos or video of the scene, including vehicle damage and injuries. Also, document anything that may have contributed to the crash, like dangerous road conditions.
What To Do If the Hit-And-Run Driver Is an Uninsured Motorist
If the police are able to find the hit-and-run driver, they will likely be charged for leaving the accident scene. In most cases, drivers flee because they are uninsured, were driving under the influence, or have outstanding warrants. Unfortunately, most hit-and-run drivers get away with their crime.
Even if the driver cannot be located, you may be able to recover compensation. Under South Carolina law, you can file a lawsuit against “John or Jane Doe.” The uninsured motorist portion of your auto insurance policy will then cover your medical expenses and vehicle repairs. To utilize this coverage, you must:
- Report the accident within a “reasonable” amount of time.
- Prove that actual contact with the other vehicle caused the accident injuries OR you hit something other than the hit-and-run vehicle, but that vehicle caused the accident.
- You are not negligent in identifying the hit-and-run driver.
3 Common Tips to Help Your Hit-And-Run Accident Claim in Charleston
Keep these helpful hints in mind throughout the auto claim process:
TIP #1: GATHER INFORMATION ON THE HIT-AND-RUN DRIVER
It is important to provide the police and your accident attorney with as much information as possible regarding the hit-and-run driver’s identity. Details such as the vehicle’s make, model, color and license plate number (even partial) can be tremendously helpful. Also, be sure to mention the exact time and location of the car accident. Your attorney may be able to track down surveillance camera footage or eyewitness testimony that can help locate the driver.
TIP #2: YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY IS LEGALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR COVERING DAMAGES IF THE DRIVER IS NOT FOUND
If the hit-and-run driver is not located, your insurance company is legally obligated to provide compensation. They must cover the medical costs for your accident injuries as well as vehicle repairs.
TIP #3 YOUR DEDUCTIBLE MUST BE REIMBURSED IF THE DRIVER IS FOUND
If the hit-and-run driver is located at some point, your insurance company is required to reimburse you for the deductible paid for your property damage. They will then likely seek reimbursement from the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
Injured in a Hit-and-Run? Discover A Trusted Charleston Car Accident Lawyer Near Me
If you have been hurt in a hit and run in Charleston, you need reliable legal representation now more than ever. The car accident lawyers at Hoffman Law Firm have experience handling cases like yours, and we will work hard to recover the compensation you truly deserve. For legal advice you can count on, schedule your free consultation today!
Our personal injury law firm offers trusted legal representation in a wide variety of cases here in the Lowcountry, including:
Longshoreman & Maritime
Spinal Cord Injury
Nursing Home Abuse