What To Expect As A Victim Of A Hit And Run
Hit and run accidents not only cause injuries and damages, but theyre even more complicated than regular collisions because the driver at fault flees the scene. This means that you might not have firm evidence of who was at fault, and you could have trouble recovering the compensation that you deserve from the responsible party.
As a victim of a hit and run, its important to know what to expect. Whether you were in the car and suffered injuries from the collision, or the crash only damaged your property, youll want to find who was responsible for your wreck so that you can hold them accountable. There are many different scenarios of hit and runs, but the police have experience with these types of crashes. This means that they will work hard to find out what happened.
However, theres not telling how long it takes them to find the person. It could take hours if theres enough evidence, or it could take days, weeks, or even months depending on what information they have about the person who fled the scene.
When you report the accident to the police, you can expect them to keep in touch with you. Theyll likely keep you in the loop and contact you with updates to ensure that you have all the information you need about their investigation. Theres no firm timeline for how long the police will contact you after a hit and run, but they will contact you until your case is closed.
How To Get A Copy Of A Police Report
A police report is generated by the investigating officer who responds to a request for assistance at the scene of a car accident. The police report is a summary of information regarding the crashusually containing facts related to the accident and opinions of the investigating officer.
There are two ways to obtain a police report. One way will cost you money, the other probably will not. To obtain a paid copy of the police report, you need to request a copy from the local law enforcement office that drafted the report. Before leaving the scene of the crash, the investigating officer typically will hand you a receipt with the identification number for the police report. Call the traffic division of the local law enforcement agency that responded to the scene of the car accident, pay the administrative fee , and you should have no problem obtaining a copy.
If you do not have or do not know the identification number for the police report, you can provide the date, time, and location of the car accident, along with your name, to assist in locating the report.
To obtain a free copy of the police report, you can ask the insurance adjuster who is handling your claim if they requested the report, and ask for a copy.
Regardless of how you obtain the police report, it may take a few weeks for the investigating officer to complete the report, and for it to become available.
What Happens When Drivers Leave The Scene
Unfortunately, when drivers leave the scene of an accident, they can be difficult to track down. The other unfortunate aspect for the victims is that its also difficult to get any money for the incident. Whenever a driver leaves the scene of a car accident, it becomes a criminal investigation.
Drivers leave the scene of the accident for many reasons, including:
- They dont have car insurance.
- Theyre driving an unregistered vehicle or on a suspended license.
- They were in the process of committing another crime or have an outstanding warrant.
- They dont have a drivers license.
- Theyre afraid of deportation or criminal action.
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Leaving the scene of an accident is a serious offense and the penalties and consequences can be further heightened if there are deaths or injuries involved in the accident. Taking this into account, retaining a lawyer is the most sensible thing you can do for yourself and your future if you find yourself in such a situation.
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Why Cant I Report All Crimes Online
- Only crimes that have no suspects, are not in progress and do not involve injury can be reported online.
- Some crimes and incidents may require evidence collection or other investigative procedures requiring an officers involvement.
- Among others, online reporting is NOT appropriate for the following crimes or incidents:
- Incidents occurring within past 30 minutes
- Violent crimes, completed or attempted
- Burglary of your home or business
- Crimes committed due to race, religion, ethnic or national origin, disability and/or sexual orientation
- Aggressive driving
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What Do Police Do In A Hit
After a hit-and-run accident, you should notify the police. When the officers arrive at the scene, they prioritize checking on all vehicle occupants. They will render necessary first aid until other emergency responders arrive.
Once the scene is secure, the responding officers will begin to compile information to learn what happened. If you can, provide a good description of the vehicle that fled. They will radio the dispatcher to get other law enforcement personnel looking for the missing driver.
Has There Been A Motor Vehicle Violation
If you feel that the other driver has committed a motor vehicle violation but doesn’t want you to call the police, ignore him or her and make the call. They might argue that if no one is hurt in the accident, all that’s needed is an exchange of insurance and personal information. Often times all parties at an accident scene appear to agree about the facts then later change their minds.
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What Are Your Options If You Dont Have A Police Report For Your Car Accident
You can still file an insurance claim even if you do not have a police report for your car accident. It is not necessary to have a police report in all cases although it can be extremely helpful in some cases. Therefore, if youve been involved in a car accident, you should contact your insurance provider as soon as possible. In order to begin this process, it is necessary to provide the information that is required in order to initiate a claim on our behalf.
In most cases, accident victims will have access to various other forms of evidence in addition to a police report to prove their right to coverage. You may still be able to secure coverage even if you dont have a police report by presenting evidence such as:
- Taking photos and videos at the scene of the accident
- Eyewitness accounts
- Surveillance camera footage or traffic camera footage
- Evidence of where and how much damage your vehicle has sustained
- You should have your medical records available.
Miami Attorneys For Hit And Run Compensation
Have you been hurt in a car accident in which the driver left the scene? You may deserve financial compensation. Let our attorneys help you understand criminal and civil hit-and-run cases and what you need to prove to win your case.
Were experienced car accident attorneys, and we can help you evaluate your case and take steps to claim the compensation you deserve. Contact us today.
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Can You Go To Jail
Once the alleged perpetrator has been identified, a warrant for their arrest will be issued. When an arrest has occurred, the perpetrator will officially be charged with the crime and held in jail until bail is decided. They will then need to appear in court for both a criminal and civil trial if this route has been taken by the injured party.
If they do not appear in court, they will have jumped bail and the warrant for their arrest will be issued. If they fail to appear in civil court, a summons will be issued. Failure to appear after a summons has been issued may result in the case being decided without the defendant being present.
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Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about car insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything car insurance-related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by car insurance experts.
Jessica Sautter has a Bachelors Degree from Eastern Michigan University in Elementary Education with a Major in Reading and a Minor in Mathematics.
What Are Common Defenses To Hit And Run
- The accident only caused injury to the defendant.
- One of the elements in defining a hit and run is that there was an injury to another person or thing. This means that if you can prove that the accident only affected the defendant, then you have a good defense.
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How Does Investigation Process Work
Unfortunately, most police departments will only investigate matters that could result in felony charges. Misdemeanors may be charged when the evidence provided is sufficient to lay a charge against the alleged perpetrator. Hit and run accidents where injuries have been sustained are often taken more seriously than those where only damage to property has occurred.
Do not leave the scene of the accident until the police arrive. They will either take a statement at the scene or at a later date when an injured party is fit to do so. The police will also collect other evidence and witness statements as well as video and camera footage of the accident.
Taking a note of license plate number
It is very important to try and get the license plate number of the offender if at all possible before they flee the scene. Even a partial plate can lead to charges being laid and an arrest being made. Cases, where no license plate number is provided, will be filed and no further action may be taken until evidence of the identity of the driver or their vehicle can be provided.
Always remember to request a copy of the police report for insurance purposes as well as evidence that the accident and hit and run did occur in a civil matter.
Pedestrians Stuck By Hit
Pedestrians struck by cars in hit-and-runs may have difficulty getting costs covered through their own insurance, as on Chicago woman found out.
CHICAGO — Data show that 40% of all pedestrians struck last year in Chicago were victims of hit-and-run crashes.
The ABC7 I-Team talked to one victim who said her court battle is an insurance claim wake-up call, for both walkers and bike riders.
One local woman thought her auto insurance would cover her when she was struck by a hit and run driver. When that didn’t happen, she brought her battle to court.
“I was frightened, scared because, you know, I didn’t even know where I was. I was asking for my family. And you know, that’s when I found out that I got hit,” said Carmen Galarza.
Galarza thought her life was over when she was struck down in the Belmont Gardens neighborhood store parking lot in 2018 by a hit-and-run driver.
“It’s been bad. We were scared, we thought we were going to lose her because the gentlemen who hit her got out of his car, looked at her on the ground and got back in his car and drove off,” said Galarza’s daughter Holly Garcia.
Because the driver was never caught, Galarza filed a claim with her own auto insurer, Direct Auto Insurance Company, to pay out under its policy for uninsured motorist coverage.
“I was in a lot of pain and there was months where I could barely walk,” Galarza said.
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What To Do In A Hit And Run
A hit-and-run accident is a stressful time for anyone theres no doubt about that. But youre not in this alone well be right there beside you to help pick up the pieces after the accident. Its why were here to walk you through the process from start to finish and put you back on the road in no time.
Lets get started:
What Is Your Next Step
Police may attempt to visit you at home or send you a letter in the mail. If the hit and run just involves minor property damage, expect to receive a letter in the mail from the investigating police department within 5 -7 days of the accident. The moment you receive the letter is the moment that you should seriously consider retaining a Miami-Dade County hit and run lawyer.
You are under investigation for a crime and any statement that you give to police will be used as evidence against you. If the accident involved death or serious bodily injury, expect for an arrest warrant to be issued. Penalties for hit and run can range from fines and traffic school to mandatory state prison time.
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Prince Law Firm Will Defend Your Rights
Being in a hit and run accident can be traumatizingyoure hurt, your vehicle is damaged, and you just want to find the person who did it. At Prince Law Firm, we understand that you want justice now. Although this can take some time, our car accident lawyers will keep you updated every step of the way and ensure your rights are protected.
We want to get you the justice you deserve. Reach out to our office today so we can discuss your legal options and get started on your claim right away.
How To Get Out Of A Hit And Run Charge
The fact that an officer or other witness says you did not stop immediately, or you did not take all the steps required after an accident, does not necessarily mean that you will be convicted. The following examples will demonstrate how you may be able to challenge this type of evidence:
- Example 1.You fail to stop immediately at the scene, because there is no safe place to stop your car. The law provides that if you stop as close as possible to the accident and return to the scene, you have satisfied that portion of the law.
- Example 2.You stopped at the scene, you and the other driver exchanged information, and then you left. After you departed, the other driver began feeling dizzy, eventually passed out, and had to be transported to the hospital. You are charged with a felony for failing to render assistance to the injured person. Since you had no knowledge of the injury, and you had no information that would lead a reasonable person to conclude there had been an injury, you are not guilty of the offense.
- Example 3.You continue to drive away because you are unaware that the accident you were involved in resulted in any damage. Many times, it is unclear if damage resulted or if damage was preexisting. As such, you would not be obligated to remain at the scene or exchange information.
These are just a couple of examples of possible defenses. Because this is a serious charge, it pays to have the right lawyer on your side.
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Can A Hit And Run Be A Civil Case
Yes, a hit and run can be a civil case. Whether or not the state brings criminal charges, the plaintiff may bring their own legal action. The plaintiff must prove all the elements of negligence or intentional misconduct, and they may claim non-economic damages beyond what is available as restitution in a criminal claim, including pain and suffering.
In a civil claim, you must prove that the defendant was the driver. You must verify that they were involved in a crash and that they chose to leave the scene of the accident. The victim must also prove their damages.
While the proofs are similar in criminal and civil cases, there are some key differences:
- Criminal Case In a criminal case, the state attorney oversees the case. They decide whether to bring charges and whether to extend a plea offer. If the case goes to trial, the state attorney presents the evidence. The standard is beyond a reasonable doubt.
- Civil Case In a civil claim, the victim is in charge. Working with their attorney, they make decisions for legal strategy and presentation of the case. They determine the appropriate settlement amount and whether to take the case to trial. The burden of proof is a preponderance of the evidence.
How Does A Hit
A hit-and-run accident claim is paid out under the Collision coverage of your auto insurance policy. You may be able to avoid this cost if you have a $0 deductible coverage included on your policy. Note that hit-and-run accidents are typically the only accident in which you are not at fault for which you will be required to pay your collision deductible.
However, if the driver who hit your car can be identified, the loss may be paid out under the Direct compensation property damage coverage of your policy which is normally not subject to a deductible. For this reason, its always best to speak to any potential witnesses.
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