Washington, D.C. statute holds that any driver who causes an auto accident must immediately stop. Otherwise, leaving after colliding may be a violation that comes with serious criminal penalties. This is why, if you have been made the victim of a hit-and-run accident, you must get the police involved. Continue reading to learn how the police can help you after your hit-and-run and how an experienced Washington, D.C. car accident lawyer at Simeone & Miller, LLP can work for your rightful compensation.
How can the police help with my hit-and-run accident?
In the same way it is illegal to flee the scene of an auto accident, it is also illegal to chase down the fleeing driver. Put simply, you must pull over to safety and dial 911. With this, you may be soon connected with a dispatcher, with whom you must disclose identifying information about the fleeing car (i.e., make, model, color, condition, and license plate number) and driver (i.e., sex, age, skin color, hair color/texture, and clothing).
From here, the dispatcher may relay this provided information to the police officers they may dispatch to track down the fleeing driver on your behalf. At the same time, they may dispatch police officers to your scene to conduct an official accident report.
Once the police officers arrive at the scene, they may evaluate the severity of the hit-and-run accident. Especially if serious bodily injuries were incurred, or if there was a death, they may intensify their investigation. That is, they may collect your testimony along with witness statements. They may even go as far as looking at neighboring surveillance camera footage to better identify the fleeing driver.
What happens if I cannot identify the at-fault driver of my accident?
If the police officers are successful at tracking down the at-fault driver of your hit-and-run accident, they may notify a prosecutor to begin pursuing criminal charges. At the same time, you may proceed forward with filing an auto accident claim with their insurance provider.
Unfortunately, if the fleeing driver cannot be identified, then you may have to tap into your uninsured motorist coverage. After all, this coverage is supposed to kick in when there is no other liability insurance available to compensate you for your urgent medical expenses and car repair bills.
You must anticipate the high probability of your uninsured motorist claim being disputed by your insurance provider. With this, it is helpful to supply as much evidence as possible. This especially should include a copy of the official accident report conducted by the police officers at the scene.
Even if you are just considering your legal options, it is best to first consult with a skilled Washington, D.C. auto accident lawyer. So please contact us at Simeone & Miller, LLP today.