What Should You Do after a Hit and Run Accident?
Although North Carolina has laws on the books to prevent hit and run accidents, plenty of motorists flee after colliding with another driver or a pedestrian. If you have been the victim of a hit and run, you have a right to be angry. After all, the person who harmed you lacked the decency to identify themselves and render assistance.
However, in addition to anger, you also need to carefully consider your options for compensation. Hit and run accidents can damage vehicles and leave people badly injured. Fortunately, you might qualify for compensation to cover your losses. Speak to a Greenville car accident lawyer for help with your case.
Does a Driver HAVE to Stop After an Accident?
Yes. It’s the law in North Carolina. Under N.C. Gen. Stat. § 20-166, a driver who knows (or should know) that he or she has caused an accident or injury must stay at the scene of the accident until law enforcement arrives. The driver also must stay at the scene until the officer completes the investigation and gives the driver permission to leave. It is a felony to flee the scene, which unfortunately has not stopped many people from speeding away after an accident.
North Carolina’s law also requires that the driver give reasonable assistance to the person they have injured. For example, they must call emergency services for an ambulance.
Lastly, the law requires that the driver give personal information to the person struck, such as their name, address, driver’s license, and their vehicle’s license plate. Refusal to render assistance or provide personal information is a misdemeanor offense.
What are the North Carolina Hit and Run Insurance Laws?
The insurance you use will depend on what you have and whether the offending driver is caught for the collision.
Let’s say the police catch the hit and run driver. In this situation, you can make a claim on that driver’s liability insurance policy. Of course, some people flee precisely because they don’t have insurance, which means you might need to sue the driver personally. If you win, you will need to collect on the judgment, which could be difficult if the motorist has no assets.
If you have uninsured motorist insurance, however, you can make a claim with your insurer for a hit and run accident. Remember, you can’t have been at fault for the collision. But if the hit-and-run driver is to blame, you can get compensation.
What Should You Do After a Hit and Run?
You might be badly shaken, but there are steps you should take that will improve your odds of receiving just compensation after a crash:
- Write down as much as you can about the driver who hit you. For example, did you see the make and color of the car? Any of the license plate numbers? What the driver looked like and the direction he or she fled?
- Ask if anyone nearby saw the vehicle that struck you. Ask them to describe the car and/or the driver in as much detail as possible.
- Contact the police and ask that a police report be filed.
You also should meet with a Greenville hit and run accident attorney for a free case evaluation. Contact Dawson & Albritton today. We offer a free initial consultation to those who call or send us a message.