Car accidents happen every day and are seemingly unavoidable. Most of us will experience at least one in our lifetime. The legal system in the state of Georgia is structured to help those who are not at fault in accidents to get all of the help they deserve. However, the system works best when the at-fault driver takes responsibility for their part in the accident. Unfortunately, some drivers do leave the scene after an accident, leaving potentially seriously injured drivers, passengers, and pedestrians with few options for recovery of their damages. In this situation, a hit and run accident lawyer near Sandy Springs GA will be an invaluable ally.
If you are involved in any kind of accident, all of the following steps should be taken according to Georgia state law:
- Report the accident to law enforcement (unless the damage totals less than $500 and there are no injuries)
- Give your name, contact details, driver’s license number, and license plate number to the other driver along with insurance information, and they should do the same.
- Help any injured people if you can. Call an ambulance if necessary.
- If there are injuries or fatalities, you must stay at the scene of the accident until the emergency response arrives.
Drivers who flee the scene of an accident are in clear violation of the laws regarding car accidents – not to mention making it difficult for you, the innocent victim, to recover compensation for your damages. Often, a driver who leaves the scene will have additional charges on their record, such as DUI. In other cases, the driver may have a suspended license or lack insurance. The driver may be driving a stolen vehicle. Data from the Insurance Information Center shows that the frequency of hit and run accidents per year has been increasing over the last decade. Perhaps most disturbingly, 60% of hit and run victims are not drivers, but pedestrians.
If you or someone you love has been injured by a hit and run accident there is always hope. Call a personal injury firm near Sandy Springs right away and let us help you get the compensation you deserve.
Common Types of Hit and Run Accidents your Lawyer Can Assist With
Here at The Weinstein Firm serving Sandy Springs, GA, we believe that everyone has the right to experienced and competent legal representation. Our hit and run accident attorneys have the experience necessary to help you in many kinds of hit and run cases. Some of the common types of hit and run accidents our lawyers help with include:
- A driver striking a parked car and fleeing the scene.
- A driver striking another moving vehicle and fleeing the scene.
- A driver striking a pedestrian and fleeing the scene.
In any of the previously listed cases, the at-fault driver makes no attempt to work with law enforcement, does not contact emergency services, and simply vanishes. If you have been involved in a situation like one of these, a car accident lawyer at The Weinstein Firm serving Sandy Springs can help.
What Should You Do After Being Involved in a Hit and Run Accident in Sandy Springs?
If you have been involved in an accident with a driver who flees the scene, the first thing for you to do is to record as many details about the other vehicle as possible. If you got a clear look at the vehicle that was involved, make it a point to remember every detail you can, and write them down. If you did not see the vehicle, see if you can find a witness who did. Every detail in this case helps. If you can remember even a portion of the license plate, this can be a large help to law enforcement in finding the vehicle. Try to remember the color, body style, and make and model if you can. If the vehicle was damaged in the accident, remember where that damage would be located. Did the vehicle have any distinguishing features like a body panel that didn’t match or custom elements?
Write down as many such details as you are able. If you were able to see the driver or passengers, try to write down as detailed a description as possible – which may not be very detailed at all, but even a vague description is better than nothing.
Make note of the location and time of the accident, the direction the driver came from, and which direction they went when they left the scene. If there are witnesses, try to get contact information, because your hit and run accident lawyer will likely want to speak to them later.
Of course, the police should be called, and a police report filed. You will be able to get a copy of this police report, and you should do so. Your hit and run accident attorney will need to have a copy of the report as well. It may seem that there is a lot of information missing, but the police report will help when filing an insurance claim.
Before you leave the scene of your hit and run accident, try to take as many photographs as you can of the scene, the damage, debris, damaged property, and other details like skid marks and broken glass.
Finally, you should start looking into hiring a hit and run accident lawyer near Sandy Springs to help you through your case. If the at-fault driver is found, you should be able to file a claim with that driver’s insurance company, if insurance coverage exists. You should always report accidents to your own insurance company. If your policy includes uninsured motorist coverage, this will usually cover damages in the case of a hit and run accident as well.
Regardless of whether the at-fault driver is located, it is helpful and recommended to work with a hit and run accident lawyer near Sandy Springs, especially if the accident involves significant damage, serious injuries, or death. Your hit and run accident attorney will help you in assembling the available evidence and will investigate the case on their own. Any information gathered by your hit and run accident attorneys during this period may be used by the police later, and it could prove invaluable to help you recover compensation for your damages.
Contact The Weinstein Firm serving Sandy Springs, GA right away if you need the assistance of a hit and run accident lawyer. Our knowledge of the law and experience with hit and run accident cases may help you to reach a positive outcome in your case, even if things seem hopeless right now.
What Can I Do About Injuries Resulting from a Hit and Run Accident in Sandy Springs?
If yourself or a loved one has been seriously injured by a hit and run car accident in Sandy Springs, your primary goal is to seek medical attention for the injured person as soon as possible. You may be angry, and understandably so, that anyone would leave the scene of an accident where people were injured. You may want to chase the person down – however, your own injuries need to be treated, and your own well-being is more important after an accident.
Following a hit and run driver is very dangerous, even if someone is not injured – so, do not try to send a witness to chase the driver, either. Untreated injuries after any kind of car accident can turn a hit and run accident case into a wrongful death case. In addition, getting medical attention right after the accident ensures that your injuries are fully documented for the purposes of filing a claim.
It is an unfortunate thing, but sometimes your own insurance company can be reluctant to offer any compensation without evidence of the accident and of any injuries you have. Since there is no other driver, no other insurance company, sometimes your story simply lacks corroboration. Sometimes, insurance companies will frustratingly suggest that a victim in a hit and run accident made the incident up in order to cover up their own negligence or carelessness or to commit fraud. For this reason, before giving any kind of statement regarding the accident to your insurance company (beyond simply reporting the accident, which you must do), it is important that you consult with a personal injury lawyer.
If the Police Cannot Find the Driver in My Hit and Run Accident, Can a Lawyer Still Help?
Yes. Even if you don’t have any information about the other driver, it is important that you reach out to a hit and run accident lawyer near Sandy Springs, GA, like The Weinstein Firm. Our hit and run accident lawyers have decades of combined experience and will be a trusted ally during this process, doing everything possible to help you recover the compensation you need and deserve – regardless of whether the other driver is ever identified.
Is a Hit and Run Accident a Crime in Georgia?
Yes. According to Georgia state law, fleeing the scene of an accident is a very serious offense, with penalties even harsher than those for DUI. Many drivers who flee the scene do so to avoid being charged with something like a DUI, and thus make the situation worse for themselves. If the driver who hit you is identified and found, then you and your hit and run accident lawyer should be able to seek a personal injury claim against that person.
In a traditional car accident, the insurance company of the at-fault driver, or that driver themselves, is the party liable for any of your medical costs, lost wages, and similar costs associated with the accident. However, since a hit and run accident can be a criminal case, it is possible to seek punitive damages against that driver. Fleeing the scene of a car accident is a deliberate act of gross irresponsibility at best – and is malicious at worst. Judges and juries tend to view hit and run drivers quite harshly in the state of Georgia, and you can be assured that your hit and run accident lawyer will do everything possible to ensure the strongest penalties, along with the maximum compensation for you and your family.
Leaving the scene of an accident is a serious offense. However, leaving the scene of an accident in which there are serious injuries of fatalities is often considered a felony – punishable not only with fines and revocation of the hit and run driver’s license but also with prison time. Even in the case that the hit and run driver is not at fault for the accident, leaving a scene can mean felony charges.
Why Hire The Weinstein Firm Serving Sandy Springs, GA as Your Hit and Run Accident Attorneys?
Here at The Weinstein Firm serving Sandy Springs, GA, we are devoted to providing strong legal representation to anyone who has been injured due to the negligence of others. We believe that every person has the right to strong, competent legal counsel on the same level as the major insurance companies. As such, we strive to provide a very high standard of care for our clients. There are no actions more negligent than choosing to run away from the scene of an accident – especially one in which injuries are involved. A hit and run accident case is difficult to manage on your own – especially while recovering from your own injuries. Working with a hit and run accident lawyer near Sandy Springs allows you to focus on recovery, while we focus on getting justice in your case.
Contact an experienced car accident lawyer at The Weinstein Firm today for a no-obligation, no-charge consultation. We will examine the circumstances of your case, and offer you our advice as to the best options at this point. We will also advise as to the potential value of your claim, and how a hit and run accident lawyer could help you to recover that value. If you have been hurt in a hit and run accident, don’t delay. Contact a hit and run accident lawyer at The Weinstein Firm right away.