Our South Carolina Car Accident Lawyers Explain How to Handle Hit-and-Run Collisions
Of the potential car accident scenarios that could befall you while driving, a hit-and-run is among the worst. Accident survivors often depend on receiving compensation to cover their medical bills, lost income and other expenses. However, it may be more difficult to recover compensation from an at-fault driver if he or she flees the scene of the accident.
Although it may be more difficult to recover compensation for a hit-and-run accident, it is not impossible. Below, our South Carolina car accident lawyers outline steps you can take to protect yourself after a hit-and-run collision.
Write Down Information About the Other Driver
If you are able to do so without jeopardizing your safety, then you should try to write down information about the other driver and vehicle as soon as possible.
Try to record this information in your phone, and if possible, email or text a copy to yourself or a close friend or family member. Having a digital record of this information is helpful, as you may lose a physical copy. Consider recording information that includes:
- The license plate number
- The vehicle’s manufacturer, model and color
- The driver’s physical description
- Physical damage to the other vehicle and your vehicle
- Which direction the other vehicle travelled at the time of the accident
- The date, time of day or night and location where the accident occurred
Fortunately, this is 2020, and cameras are almost everywhere in larger cities. Even if you fail to record information, your attorney may be able to uncover video footage of the accident.
Talk to Witnesses
Many accidents have witnesses. If there were pedestrian bystanders or other drivers who pulled over to help after the accident, be sure to obtain their contact information.
Witnesses may be able to fill in any missing details about the other vehicle and driver. Be sure to record as much information as possible, as it could become useful later when you pursue a claim or charges against the other driver.
Call the Police
It is a crime to leave the scene of an accident in South Carolina. You should contact the police right away if you were involved in a hit-and-run. Once the police arrive at the scene, they will record information about what happened by asking you and other witnesses questions. Police reports are also useful evidence after a hit-and-run accident.
Contact Your Insurance Company
You need to let your car insurance provider know about the hit-and-run soon after it happens. Your insurance provider will get the claims process started while you work to uncover more information about the hit-and-run driver.
In many cases, drivers who flee the scene of the accident do so because they were breaking the law at the time of the crash. For instance, the driver may have been under the influence of alcohol or driving without insurance. You most likely have uninsured motorist coverage on your car insurance policy (it is required by law in South Carolina). Even if you cannot track down the other driver, your insurance provider may help cover some of your damages.
Receive Medical Attention
This is one of the most important steps. You should go to a hospital or emergency clinic for a physical examination after your accident.
As we have pointed out on other blogs, certain types of injuries may have symptoms that manifest hours or days after an accident. Some delayed car accident injuries can lead to permanent disability or death without prompt treatment.
Contact An Attorney
You should consider contacting an attorney soon after your accident. An attorney can help you handle the claims process with car insurance companies and may be able to preserve evidence from being altered or destroyed. You may also have other obligations under South Carolina state law after an accident. An attorney can help with the post-accident legal process.
Personal injury attorneys, such as those that handle car accidents, generally take cases on a contingency fee basis. This means you do not pay any upfront fees if they opt to take your case. Most personal injury attorneys also offer free consultations, so it does not cost money to contact them for information.
Contact Our South Carolina Car Accident Lawyers for More Information
Questions about what to do after a hit-and-run accident in South Carolina? Contact our South Carolina car accident attorneys for more information. We offer free consultations that can help explain your potential legal options after an accident. To schedule a free consultation with a car accident lawyer at our firm, dial (803) 324-7200 or use the contact form on our site.