There are very few things that are more frustrating than being made a victim of a car accident, only for the at-fault driver to immediately flee the scene. This is what is known as a hit-and-run accident. And there are certain approaches you should take to better your chances of tracking down the driver, receiving financial compensation, and attaining justice. Follow along to find out what to do after a hit-and-run accident and how a proficient Washington, D.C. car accident lawyer at Simeone & Miller, LLP can guide you through these steps.
Why should I avoid chasing the driver who fled the scene of my accident?
You may be tempted to chase down the driver as they speed away from the scene of your accident. However, we discourage you from acting on your emotions, as it may be dangerous to do so. Rather, we recommend that you take a second to compose your thoughts and regroup. That said, you should avoid chasing the driver for the following reasons:
- The other driver may be dangerous (i.e., they may have an outstanding warrant for their arrest).
- The car chase may put other innocent drivers on the road in danger.
- Your car may be damaged from the accident and therefore unsafe to operate.
- It is illegal to leave the scene of an accident without first reporting the incident or waiting for police to arrive.
What steps should I take after a hit-and-run accident?
Instead of taking it upon yourself to track down the negligent driver, you may leave this responsibility to the police. You may be able to help the police identify the at-fault party in the following ways:
- Provide a law enforcement officer with the car’s identifying characteristics, such as its make, model, color, and license plate number.
- Provide a law enforcement officer with the driver’s identifying characteristics, such as their sex, race, ethnicity, hair color, etc.
- Ask witnesses to provide the law enforcement officer with a recount of what they remember about the car, its driver, and which direction they were heading.
- Offer a law enforcement officer a copy of the video captured by your car security camera, if applicable.
If a law enforcement officer can successfully find the negligent driver, then you may proceed forward with filing a personal injury claim against them. Your claim may require additional pieces of evidence that you obtain at the scene of your accident. This may include photos and videos of your bodily injuries, damages to your car, and damages to the surrounding area.
At the end of the day, you must take the initiative and reach out to a talented Washington, D.C. auto accident lawyer at your earliest possible convenience. Our team at Simeone & Miller, LLP will be happy to serve you.