One of the commonest forms of road accidents is hit and run. No driver sets out with the intention of ramming into another vehicle or pedestrian. But the sad truth is that not all drivers are responsible, law-abiding citizens. And not all people make good drivers. Every year, Canada reports somewhere around 35,000 cases of hit and run accidents. Anyone can be a victim of a hit and run, even you, who are a cautious pedestrian and a careful driver. Why do hit and run accidents happen? And what should you do if you meet with this kind of accident?
Understanding hit and run accidents
Hit and run accidents menace modern civilization and try as we might, we don’t seem to be able to eliminate this problem. Numerous drives and campaigns have tried to educate people about the dangers of irresponsible driving. But these efforts are not bearing results as quickly as people would like.
A hit and run accident is when a car or vehicle crashes into another vehicle or a human being. Instead of waiting to see if others had been hurt or calling for help, the reckless driver flees the scene. That is because the driver fears that once he/she is brought into custody, there will be a mandatory fine (a steep amount) to be paid or even a sentence of 5 years to be served.
What are the commonest reasons behind the hit and run accidents?
- The driver was drunk or under the influence of a drug (punishable offense)
- The driver was texting or was on his/her phone while driving (also a punishable offense)
- The driver was racing or was in a hurry and disobeyed traffic laws
Why do drivers flee?
- Maybe because the car being driven is stolen or the driver does not have a license
- The driver does not have insurance
- The person driving is an illegal immigrant
- There is contraband stashed away in the car
- The person is driving a company car and fears that the employer might fire him/her on finding out
- The person is already on the run from the law or has numerous traffic tickets
Such people make reckless drivers and their rash actions can cause untold pain and misery to others.
Your course of action if you have been in a hit and run accident
As every one of us is vulnerable to the possibility of a hit and run, we should chalk up a plan. In the event we are in a hit and run, we have to follow a very precise strategy so that we can minimize the risk to our health.
- If you are personally hurt, do not move as that can aggravate your injuries. Call the emergency number or get someone else to do it. If your car has been hit and you are not too injured, do not take off after the culprit. It could undermine your settlement claim by triggering confusion regarding the progression of incidents.
- Try to memorize the nameplate number. If the accident happened on the premises of your office, procure CCTV cameras footage. This will be needed during the police investigation and when your personal lawyers are gathering evidence to fight your case.
- If you are not too hurt, jot down every detail you remember. This too will help you once the investigation starts. Note down the make of the car, how the car violated traffic laws, the sex of the driver if there were any passengers in the car, and did the driver seem to be smoking or texting- every scrap of information counts.
- Do not refuse medical aid. Sometimes when you have been in an accident, you may feel like you haven’t been hurt significantly. Actually, there may indeed be a delayed reaction because adrenaline surges through your system and blocks out pain. But paramedics know better. Cooperate with them and if necessary go to a health clinic where you will be patched up.
- If you are on your feet, then waste no time in finding witnesses. Collect their phone numbers. When personal injury lawyers build a case for you, they will need to speak to witnesses to corroborate your account. When you can present witnesses, your case naturally becomes a lot stronger.
- Report the crime. Unless you file a complaint in 24 hours, your case will lose legitimacy and the insurer of the guilty party will claim that you must have something to hide or maybe the accident was actually your fault. This will impact how much you can procure in terms of claim settlement.
- Contact a firm of personal injury lawyers. Victims of hit and run accidents naturally pose quite a few questions that can be answered by experienced lawyers. Is their accident a valid ground for a settlement? Will the insurance policy of the hit and run driver quash the claim? How much can they expect from the settlement? How should you go about making the claim? And if you have been unfortunate enough to have sustained injuries, then you will need quality medical care and therapy- something that a personal injury law firm can also help with by connecting you to the best healthcare professionals.
- Finally, don’t forget to call your loved ones. They will escort you to the hospital if it comes to that. Besides, this will be a trying time for you as you will have to possibly battle pain and recovery and take the fight to the wrong-doer. You need all the love and support from people who care about you.
At Claim Settlement, our network of lawyers have 20 years of experience in handling personal injury and accident cases and has recovered millions of dollars in settlements for our clients. Our initial consultations are absolutely free and you don’t pay until our networks of lawyers have procured you the compensation you deserve. If you have suffered an injury or been in an accident call us at 1-833-892-5246 for a free consultation or e-mail us at email@example.com