A hit and run auto accident takes place when a driver causes or contributes to a collision, which might involve a person, another vehicle or a road side obstacle and does not stop and provide his or her name or admit to the accident.
In earlier days, hit and run drivers who ran off after the scene of an accident were extremely difficult to identify and were rarely caught. However, in most U.S. states it is now illegal if a negligent driver fails to stop if a collision has taken place. In Philadelphia, the mandatory minimum sentence is one year behind bars for a fatal hit and run incident. If the driver is found guilty of a felony then the prison term could be considerably longer
Hit and Run Accident: Guidelines
If you are involved in a hit and run accident there are certain things you should do immediately after the incident.
- Provide police with details of the accident
- Get names and addresses of all witnesses
- Take photographs of the scene if possible
- Describe the scene in writing
- Contact a car accident attorney
- Tell your insurance company
Along with criminal charges, a motorist who is found guilty of running away from the scene of a collision could also be subject to punitive damages in any civil action that might be pursued by the injured victim. Frequently, hit and run drivers flee a crash site because they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol and certainly do not wish to be arrested and given a punishment for their crime.
Contact an accident lawyer as soon as possible after an accident
Often, the victim fails to record the license plate number of the offending driver, so it is almost impossible to identify the hit and run motorist at a later date to get compensation for car damage, injuries and the related pain and suffering. Crucial evidence can be difficult to find. It is vital to contact an attorney as soon as possible after a hit and run accident. An experienced car crash attorney who has experience with hit and run accidents can collect relevant information and evidence and attempt to locate the hit-and-run driver.
It is the legal right of an accident victim to claim compensation for the injuries and suffering they have received at the hands of someone else, but it is difficult to do this alone. An experienced car accident attorney can work to recover compensation from the motorist who caused damage in a hit and run event. If you have been a victim of such an accident and you feel helpless then you should contact an attorney immediately before the facts of the incident fade in your mind.