Hit and run accidents can make an individual feel victimized twice. First, someone else’s careless or reckless actions caused injuries; second, the individual didn’t take responsibility for the car crash that caused your injuries.
What to Do If Injured by a Hit and Run Driver
Section 20-166 of the North Carolina Statutes says that it is a driver’s duty to stop in the event of a crash and provide information or assistance to anyone who has been injured. This applies to those who knew or should have reasonably known that their vehicle was involved in a crash and that it resulted in bodily injury or property damage.
If you were injured in a North Carolina car crash that involved a driver leaving the scene, do not follow the other driver and make sure you contact the authorities immediately. Make sure that a police report is completed and filed and then obtain a copy as soon as you can.
Although the other driver fled the scene of the accident, if he or she is eventually caught the report can be helpful in holding the driver liable. In addition, your insurance coverage may require proof that you were injured in a hit-and-run.
When speaking with the police after a hit-and-run accident, provide as much information about the other driver and the vehicle as you can.
Mention any details that you can remember:
- the make, model, and color of the vehicle
- any distinguishing features on the car
- if you happened to get a good look at the driver, share those details, too, even if you only noticed general features like hair color or what he or she was wearing
Details sometimes come to mind later on. If you remember any important details of the accident, be sure to contact the North Carolina police officer who responded to your car crash and share this information. You just never know when one seemingly insignificant detail could break the case.
Collect Evidence After the Accident
The accident attorneys at Brent Adams & Associates don’t want you to suffer the consequences of a negligent driver who causes a car crash. Make an effort to collect whatever evidence you can, as it may be important whether or not the identity of the other driver is eventually discovered.
If you are capable of doing so start gathering:
- police reports
- statements from witnesses
- photographs of the vehicle and scene
Like following accidents in which all drivers stopped and stayed at the scene, collecting this evidence may prove helpful to your claim with your insurance company or that of the other driver if he or she is found.
Recovery of Damages in Hit and Run Accidents
You must also contact your insurance company as soon as you can. As you did with the responding police officer, it’s important that you give as much detailed information as you can. Ask the insurance adjuster about the coverage in your policy, including any requirements you must meet or deductibles that have to be paid.
The insurance company may wait before acting on your claim just in case the police find the driver responsible for the car crash or the driver comes forward. Eventually the claim will move forward, but if the driver is discovered, then a claim with his or her insurance company will be filed.
As of January 2009, motorists in North Carolina are required to carry uninsured motorist coverage for bodily injury and property damage. What’s more, drivers who have insurance exceeding minimum liability insurance requirements must purchase underinsured motorist coverage.
These policies can help cover associated costs following an accident involving an uninsured or underinsured individual, as well as hit and run accidents. Without it, it may be very difficult to recover all of your expenses. You could end up stuck with mounting medical expenses and other costs.
Dealing with a North Carolina hit-and-run crash is never a pleasant experience. Keep these tips in mind and request a copy of Brent's book for car accident victims in North Carolina. If you are an accident victim there is no cost for the book; we will mail and ship it to you free of charge.