SKILLED IN HIT AND RUN ACCIDENT CASES
HIT AND RUN ACCIDENTS CAN OCCUR ANYWHERE AND WHEN THEY DO THE DAMAGES CAN BE SEVERE.
Being involved in a car collision is shocking. Your vehicle may sustain damage or you and your passengers may suffer injuries as a result of the crash. Normally, we are taught to exchange information with the other driver so that, if they are the liable party, you can submit a claim to their insurance company for damages.
However, not all drivers decide to stay on the scene of a crash. When a driver leaves the scene of a crash after hitting another driver, a motorcyclist, cyclist, or pedestrian, it is considered a hit and run. However, just because the driver has fled the scene does not mean you cannot recover financial compensation for the damages.
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REASONS PEOPLE RUN FROM THE SCENE
According to Ohio Revised Code 4549.02 and 4549.021, a driver is required to stop at the scene of a crash until they provide their name, address, and driver’s license number to the other party. If the car is owned by another person the driver must provide the vehicle owner’s name and address. Failing to stop is a class 1 misdemeanor. If a person was injured or killed at the scene the charges are increased to a felony.
People who are already breaking another law are more likely to leave the scene of an accident because they fear the repercussions of both causing the crash along with their other illegal activity. Individuals commonly commit hit-and-runs if:
- They have an expired or suspended license;
- They have warrants;
- They are under the influence of alcohol or drugs;
- The car they are driving is a rental or a friend’s car; or
- They are in the possession of illegal items at the time of the crash.
OTHER PRACTICE AREA CASES
WHAT YOU CAN DO AT THE SCENE OF THE COLLISION
WHILE PERSONAL INJURIES ARE OFTEN REFERRED TO AS ACCIDENTS, THEY ARE OFTEN THE RESULT OF ANOTHER PERSON’S RECKLESS OR NEGLIGENT CONDUCT.
Even if the driver leaves the scene, you may be able to gather information to help the police locate them. Drivers panic after a crash. It isn’t a planned event for them either, so often they are unsure of where to go after fleeing and may still be nearby. Try to collect information such as:
- If the driver stays at the scene long enough you may be able to catch the license plate number. Even if you don’t recall the numbers, you may remember the license plate if it was from another state or if it was a vanity plate.
- The vehicle’s model will also help the police. If you should make a note if you remember the make, model, or color of the vehicle.
- What part of their vehicle may have sustained damage. Especially if you notice glass or parts from their car on the ground, their car probably has evidence of being in a crash. If you can recall how they hit you, you may be able to provide police details like that their passenger side mirror is broken or the driver’s vehicle probably has scratches down the left side.
- If there are witnesses, get their information and ask them to recall any details such as the driver’s appearance or if the vehicle had passengers. Occasionally a witness is actually in a position to follow the hit and run driver. They may actually be able to help find the driver and call the police on your behalf.
In addition to contacting the police after a hit and run crash, you will want to attend to any medical concerns and then contact a Toledo car accident attorney who can help you with the next steps in the legal process.
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COMPENSATION FOR HIT AND RUN CRASHES
If the person is apprehended after running from the crash, you can submit a claim to their insurance company for the damages. If not, you can still submit a claim to your insurance company as long as there is evidence to prove the property damage, bodily injuries, or death were caused by a collision with an unidentifiable driver. There are two types of uninsured motorist insurance coverages.
Uninsured motorist (UM) insurance will cover medical costs, lost wages, and the emotional pain and suffering of injuries as a result of a hit and run. Uninsured motorist property damage (UMPD) insurance will cover damage to your vehicle. According to the Ohio State Bar Association, you can only purchase UM or UMPD coverage up to the amount of liability coverage you have. Basically, you cannot protect yourself more than you protect other drivers from any accident you may cause.