Hit-and-run accidents are infuriating. It’s not fair to the victim, and it’s illegal to leave the scene of an accident-any accident, no matter how minor. You may certainly pull your vehicles out of the way of traffic if no one is gravely injured and the vehicles are running, and you should in the case of a minor accident. But you need to stick around until both parties have documented the accident and are satisfied that they have the information they need before leaving.
If you do get into an accident and the perpetrator leaves, don’t move. Stay where you are and call police. Try to get photographs of the car, especially the license plates, and note the direction it left. Write down any details you noticed about the car, including make, model, color, and any features that stuck out. Grab a witness or two if people were walking in the area. Look around you and the intersection and note the location and ownership of any cameras. There may be traffic cameras, security cameras, or individuals recording video nearby and any of these sources may hold clues as to who hit you.
Finally, get a personal injury attorney. You will not be able to get footage from local traffic cameras or a store’s security camera footage without an attorney. While police can certainly obtain the footage, they have no obligation to turn it over to you or let you use it in an insurance claim. The officers will be much more interested in the criminal proceedings and catching the hit-and-run driver, and that part of a hit-and-run case is separate from your injury claim.
At Bouchillon, Crossan & Colburn, L.C., our attorneys have more than 40 years dedicated to giving clients the attention, advice, support and empowerment they need to effectively meet their goals. We are committed to the principle that all persons shall have equal justice under the law. If you or a loved one has been injured and is seeking a qualified personal injury attorney, contact our Huntington, West Virginia office to speak with an attorney about your case, or call 304-521-4636.