Virginia law clearly requires that motorists stop after getting into an accident, even when they strike an unoccupied vehicle. Va. Code § 46.2-894 states that drivers should “immediately stop” and offer “reasonable assistance” to any victim injured in the wreck. However, far too many people flee the scene of an accident, often leaving behind victims to struggle on their own.
If you were injured in a hit and run collision, you probably feel justifiable outrage. We don’t blame you. There is no excuse for failing to stop and render assistance to someone hurt in an accident. However, there are certain steps a victim can take that increase their odds of receiving compensation. Contact a Virginia Beach car accident lawyer for help today.
Call the Police
An officer should come to the scene to write a police report even if the other driver has fled. A police report is a critical piece of information which can establish the date, time, and location of the accident.
There is also another reason to call the police: you might make a claim on your uninsured motorist insurance. However, you can only receive compensation if you are not primarily to blame for the wreck, and your insurer might be skeptical that you really were in a hit and run. It is not unusual for some drivers to crash their vehicle on their own then lie and claim they were hit by someone else. Calling the police lends credibility to your story.
Share as Much Information as You know about the Driver
Some hit and run drivers are caught later. They might be charged with felony or misdemeanor offenses. Even better, an injured victim can sue them for compensation. If you were in the car at the time of the collision, you might have seen the vehicle and/or driver responsible. Share with the police as much information as you can:
- Car color
- Make and model
- Distinguishing features (such as a bumper sticker)
- License plate number (or as much as you saw)
- Description of the driver
- The direction the driver fled to
Armed with this information, the police might be able to track down the person who struck you.
Report the Accident to Your Insurer
Avoid delay. They will want to know about the collision, and you can share the police report number with them. Let them know that the drive fled the scene of the accident. Reporting the accident in a timely manner also builds confidence that you are not lying about being involved in a hit and run.
Obtain Medical Treatment
Injuries are often slow to develop, but you should see a doctor as soon as possible, even if you think you are unharmed. Some of the more common injuries that take a few days to develop include back injuries, head injuries, and traumatic brain injuries. Keep copies of all medical bills and insurance statements.
Contact a Virginia Beach Car Accident Lawyer
At Barney Injury Law, we can help you obtain compensation following a hit and run accident. There are many avenues. For example, we might visit nearby businesses to check if they have security cameras. These cameras record events happening outside on the street. The police might already have checked but, if not, we might find video that captured the driver who struck you.
We can also negotiate with your uninsured motorist provider. They sometimes reject hit-and-run cases because they believe that the claimant really is at fault for their wreck. We will help build up a solid evidentiary record for your case.
Barney Injury Law offers a free consultation to those injured in hit and run accidents. Please contact us today to meet with a member of our team.