A hit and run accident occurs when the driver leaves the scene of a car accident before contact and insurance information is exchanged, or before police or ambulance arrive. Drivers who leave the scene of an accident can be penalized with heavy fines, license suspension, and jail time if there are injured victims or fatalities.
Victims of a hit and run accident are eligible to collect compensation for damages to their car or property, as well as personal injuries. A police report and an experienced car accident lawyer can ensure that victims’ legal rights are protected, and that they claim the maximum amount of compensation available.
Types of Hit and Run Accidents
A hit and run accident can involve a collision with another vehicle, a pedestrian, or even a stationary object such as a mailbox or fence. A driver who is involved in a wreck is responsible for stopping and exchanging contact information and assisting anyone that is hurt. If the car accident involves property other than another vehicle, the driver must contact the property owner, or leave a note with their contact information.
In a large number of cases, drivers who are intoxicated or under the influence of drugs will try to leave the scene of an accident to avoid a drunk driving charge. A person who is driving under the influence will not be thinking clearly and may make an impulsive decision that they are sure to regret. In some cases, the driver of the car involved in a hit and run accident may be trying to avoid the police. The car may be stolen, they may be in possession of illegal drugs or guns, or they may have outstanding warrants that can land them in jail.
Car accidents involving pedestrians can be catastrophic and result in serious injuries or death. A driver responsible for this type of accident may panic and drive away. They may also fail to realize that they hit a pedestrian. In some cases, drivers have reported thinking that they had run over a piece of debris in the road or had just hit a curb.
Drivers are never justified in leaving the scene of an accident. Even when drivers feel that they are not at fault for the accident, they have a legal responsibility to stop and exchange information. It is always advisable to call the police when a car accident occurs, even if it is not one that results in heavy damage or injury. An official police report is necessary to substantiate your claim, especially if the other driver left the scene.
When to Contact a Car Accident Lawyer
Victims of hit and run accidents should contact a qualified South Carolina car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Personal injury lawyers understand the laws surrounding hit and run accidents, and can work closely with the police to locate the driver of the other car. The lawyer can also work with insurance companies to recover compensation through an uninsured motorist or a no-fault clause.
Columbia Car Accident Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Help Victims of Hit and Run Accidents Claim Compensation
If you or someone you love has been injured in a hit and run car accident, call the Columbia car accident lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. at 803-929-3600, or 866-881-8623, or contact us online to schedule a free consultation today.
We represent clients throughout South Carolina, including those in Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Charleston County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Spartanburg County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, and Newberry County, as well as those in the communities of Columbia, Aiken, Camden, Sumter, Orangeburg, Greenville, Florence, Beaufort, Irmo, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, West Columbia, Rock Hill, Charleston, Lexington, Winnsboro, and Summerville, South Carolina.