If you were in a car accident and a driver fled the scene, report the crash to the police as well as your insurance company. Hit-and-run drivers can face criminal charges as well as civil ones.
Even if you can’t locate the driver to pursue compensation, you still have options through your insurance and our car accident lawyers.
Reporting to the Police
While a hit-and-run accident feels different from other car collisions, the procedure for reporting it is the same. After the crash:
- Get to a safe place – pull off the road or out of the way of traffic if possible
- Call for help – contact the police to notify them of the accident
- Make note – f possible, record details such as traffic, time of day, road conditions, and what you remember about the other driver
- Take photo – documenting the damage, weather, and location can help with your case and claim
- Get witness information – write down the contact info of people who saw what happened
Once the police arrive, you can provide them with some of this information. Any details you can remember about the driver could help the authorities track them down, such as the make, model, or color of the car.
What If No One Was Hurt?
For an accident that caused property damage but no injuries – like if you found your parked car damaged by an unknown driver – you can report the crime online with the Atlanta Police Department.
However, if you were in an accident with another vehicle, err on the side of caution. Even if you don’t want to deal with the hassle of a report or feel hopeless about tracking down the driver, you can face consequences yourself if the crash isn’t reported.
According to Georgia law, you must report any accident that causes injury, death, or property damage worth $500 or more (O.C.G.A. § 40-6-273). You may not know what $500 in damage looks like, so report the accident to cover your bases. Moreover, in cases where drivers flee the scene, having a police report can prove crucial when dealing with your insurance.
For a free legal consultation, call 404-214-2001
Reporting to Your Insurance
The value of reporting a hit and run in Atlanta extends beyond potential legal consequences. If you wait to notify your insurance, you run the risk of having any claim denied.
Although you do need to contact them immediately, you don’t have to provide all the details in your initial call. Just give them notice that an accident occurred; you can provide an official, recorded statement later with the help of our hit and run accident attorneys.
In hit and run accidents, your insurer may require specific evidence before paying out. Remember, their top priority is to save their own money rather than pay you. What evidence they require and what type of insurance claim to file depends on the scenario:
- The driver was found
- The driver was not found
If the Driver Was Found
Between traffic cameras, business security systems, and bystanders with cell phones, it has become easier to track down hit and run drivers. When this happens, you can pursue that person for damages.
If the driver was insured, you can file a claim through their insurance. You can obtain this information from the police report. The Atlanta police department allows accident victims to access reports online from BuyCrash or by going to the Central Records Unit.
If the driver was uninsured, you can file a claim under your own uninsured motorist coverage. Unfortunately, according to the Office of Commissioner of Insurance and Safety Fire, Georgia does not require uninsured motorist coverage. If you lack this coverage, you can cover your expenses with your collision insurance or file a lawsuit against the driver.
If the Driver Was Not Found
Sadly, some drivers get away with leaving you injured. That doesn’t mean you don’t have any recourse to pay your bills. Much like if you are hit by an uninsured driver, you can pursue payment through uninsured motorist or collision coverage.
If you don’t have uninsured motorist coverage and don’t know who hit you, you do have fewer options for recouping medical expenses and lost wages. However, you can talk to our car accident lawyers for free to learn more about what you can do.
Talking to a Lawyer in Atlanta
After reporting your Atlanta hit-and-run accident to the police and your insurance, you can contact the team at Kaine Law to support you through the next steps in your case. Even if you don’t know yet if the driver will be found, you can consult us to go over your options. The earlier you bring us on board, the quicker we can develop a game plan.
Our hit and run lawyers can help with:
- Filing insurance claims
- Filing a personal injury lawsuit
- Gathering evidence
- Interviewing witnesses
- Negotiating settlements
- Fighting difficult insurance companies
- Reconstructing the accident
- Consulting experts for analysis
The paperwork alone can be overwhelming, especially in accidents where drivers flee the scene. Yet we go beyond that, doing the bulk of the work for you while you heal from your injuries.
Come to Us with Any of Your Concerns
The team at Kaine Law deals with insurance companies and negligent drivers on a regular basis. You may not know the tricks of their trade, but we do. Contact our lawyers if:
- Your insurance company is denying you have uninsured motorist coverage
- You feel your injuries and expenses are being undervalued
- You aren’t sure what your case is worth
- You aren’t sure if your coverage will pay for all your losses
- The negligent driver’s insurance is claiming you were partly at fault
- You are having trouble communicating or negotiating with an adjuster
- You aren’t sure which type of claim to file for your hit and run
- The driver was not insured, and you want to file a lawsuit
In other words, if you are feeling uncertain, confused, or dispirited about how your hit-and-run case is progressing, call Kaine Law.
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Make the Call for a Free Case Review Today
Being in a hit and run is profoundly frustrating. At Kaine Law, we know you’re feeling a sense of injustice at being left injured and alone. After reporting your Atlanta hit and run, contact us to pursue justice. Whether you’re dealing with the driver or an intractable insurance company, we can support your case in Fulton County, Georgia.
Get a free consultation today: (404) 214-2001.