A hit and run, or simply speaking, a driver causing harm to another person and/or their vehicle and then leaving the site before the issue can be resolved, is, unfortunately, a very common scenario, not just in Georgia, but across the country. Leaving the scene of an accident without any care for the other person involved in the accident or their property is absolutely immoral.
More importantly, it shows an intent to not share blame for the damage caused, and hence is considered a crime in the state of Georgia. In fact, leaving the scene of an accident is considered a greater offense than a DUI ticket.
If convicted of a hit and run case, the said driver may face up to 4 months of license suspension. Moreover, it will permanently get stuck on their record and can create issues further down the line in their life. That is, to say if they do not have any priors on their name. Previous demeanors can land a person a hard suspension, meaning they lose their license and permit permanently.
In spite of this, if you ever find yourself on the receiving end of a hit and run case, don’t be surprised. Hit and runs are extremely common in today’s day and age. A 2015 study by the Foundation of Traffic Safety found that there an estimated 737,100 hit-and-run cases in 2015 within the US, roughly translating to a crash happening every 43 seconds.
With such high occurrence, what is one supposed to do after facing a hit and run scenario? We take you through some basic ways to secure yourself in a potential hit and run situation.
1. Get Your Car Insurance in Place
Whether you’re a recent car owner or have owned the vehicle in question for a long while, always have updated car insurance. In Georgia, it is mandatory for car owners to select a policy that, protects the owner from costs associated with one death or injury and destruction of property up to $25,000.
For accidents involving the death of 2 individuals, the policy must cover costs up to $50,000, according to a SafeAuto Insurance article. You also want to make sure that you have uninsured motorist coverage, as the biggest issue in hit and run accidents is when the at-fault driver leaves the scene and cannot be apprehended.
Make sure you pay your policy payments on time every month and also ensure you always have a valid license and registration. That way, you hold an advantageous position in a hit and run event.
2. Keep an Emergency Kit
A basic car toolkit, along with food, water, and a basic first aid kit is essential to keep you calm in the aftermath of a hit and run accident. Make sure to keep it handy in your car at all times.
3. Call 911 and Report, Immediately
Without creating confusion, fear or panic, call 911 and calmly report the incident. Share as many details as you can with the officers looking into the case, take pictures and notes that you think convey important information about the crash. It is also wise to have your personal injury lawyer as the second call you make after 911. If possible, get the license plate of the car that hit you.
4. Get Medical Assistance
Ensure you and the other people involved in the accident receive the necessary medical assistance to prevent any long-term injury. While the other driver has escaped the scene, taking care of your own self is important to be able to pursue a case against this person.
5. Evaluate the Merits of a Case
By this time, you should have enough facts and information, including a complete police report and the advice of a trusted lawyer to decide the merits of pursuing a hit and run charge against the accused. Work with your lawyer to understand what a rightful settlement in your case might look like, and use their experience to make a decision whether to pursue the case or drop charges.
Let a Trusted Personal Injury Lawyer Help You
Hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer stands as one of the most important aspects of prepping for a possible hit and run scenario in the future. Greathouse Trial Law has experience of managing accident-related cases in suburban Atlanta with over 100+ civil and criminal cases with a high rate of success. Reach out today to schedule a free consultation.