It is bad enough when you’re involved in a car accident. It is so much worse when the car that hit you takes off immediately after the crash. Our car accident lawyers in Atlanta have handled numerous hit-and-run accident cases.
The question is what you’re supposed to do when this happens.
Call 911 Immediately After a Hit-and-Run Accident
Regardless of what the other driver does, you need to call 911 immediately after your crash. The police will come out to the accident scene and do a thorough investigation. They will also talk to any witnesses to see if they saw the car that hit you.
You’d be surprised how unwilling strangers are to talk to the police about something like this. Your Atlanta accident attorney may have a hard time getting any information out of them. Most people do not want to get involved in a stranger’s car accident lawsuit.
Give the Police Any Information You Have on the Other Driver
When the cops arrive at the scene, you need to tell the officers whatever you remember about the crash. Perhaps you remember the make and model of the car. If you had a passenger in the car, they may have caught more details than you.
The police will need something to go on when they search for the rogue vehicle that fled the scene. While a color or make and model doesn’t seem like much, it does help narrow things down a bit.
You Also Need to Go to the Hospital Right Away
Whether you think you’re seriously injured or not, it’s critical that you go to the emergency room. You need to get checked out by a licensed doctor as soon as possible after the crash.
Once the doctor has treated you, they’ll document your injuries in your medical record. You will need these records later on in case your Atlanta car accident attorney ever tracks down the other driver.
Your Atlanta Car Accident Attorney Needs Your Medical Records to Prove Your Injuries
Even if you don’t find the other driver, you may need to file a claim with your uninsured motorist policy. They will want to see proof that you were hurt. The best way to do this is by submitting a copy of your medical records.
The Defendant May Claim That Something Other Than the Crash Caused Your Injuries
Your car accident lawyer in Atlanta will also need these records to prove causation. If the defendant does the right thing and admits their role in the crash, they’ll claim you caused the crash.
If this doesn’t work, they may claim that something other than your car accident caused your injuries. As long as it’s clear that you went to the hospital immediately after the crash, their argument will carry no weight.
Your Accident Lawyer in Atlanta Will Try to Track Down the Other Driver
It may be nearly impossible to find the other driver in a hit-and-run accident, but your Atlanta accident attorney will try. They can recruit the services of a private investigator.
One way to find the other driver is to talk to all the local mechanics to see if they serviced a vehicle that meets your description of the hit-and-run driver. For example, if the other driver caused damage to the side of your vehicle, you would want to look for a car with damage to its front end.
The Crash May Have Been Caught on Tape
One other possibility is that the hit-and-run accident was caught on tape. There could be an intersection camera that caught a picture of the other vehicle. The same thing could be true of a witness’ dash cam.
One other thing your car accident lawyer in Atlanta can do is check to see if any of the local businesses caught it on film. Many businesses have CCTV footage. If they have a recording of the accident, it may prove useful in tracking down the culprit.
There Could Be Eyewitnesses Who Have Details on the Fleeing Driver
As briefly stated above, there is a chance that a witness caught a good look at the car. They may not want to get involved, but they may be willing to talk to your Atlanta accident attorney.
Once your lawyer pieces together the information they receive from the various witnesses, it may help paint a picture of the other driver. Once you have the basic information such as make and model, color, and license plate number, your lawyer can search for the other driver and file suit.
You May Have to File a Claim With Your Uninsured Motorists Policy
If your accident lawyer in Atlanta has done all they can and hasn’t located the driver, you have one option. Your uninsured motorist’s policy may offer some protection. Typically, the most this kind of policy will cover is around $10,000.
You may also have personal injury protection under your own auto insurance policy. If you do, your Atlanta accident attorney may be able to file a claim there too.
Your Atlanta Accident Attorney Has Two Years to File Suit
Even if you can’t track down the other driver right away, you do have time before the statute of limitations period expires. In Georgia, the statute of limitations is two (2) years. This means your accident lawyer in Atlanta will have at least that long to file suit against the other driver.
There’s no guarantee that you’ll ever identify the other driver. However, you don’t need to wait to file a claim with your uninsured motorist’s policy. These policies typically only offer $10,000 in coverage, at most. You will still have a viable claim against the other driver if they ever are discovered.
We suggest you call our office and schedule a time to meet with one of our experienced Atlanta accident attorneys. We do offer all new clients a free consultation. It won’t cost you a dime to have one of our lawyers review your case and let you know what your options are.