Being in a car accident is enough to ruin anyone’s day. But when you are a victim of a hit and run accident, it can double a person’s frustrations.
If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident, Georgia law requires a driver to stop after an accident and provide identifying information to the other people involved. In any accident which results in injury or death to a person, or damage to a vehicle, a driver is required to stop at the scene of the accident and provide his or her name, address, and registration number of their vehicle. The requirement to information applies to any driver who is involved in a motor vehicle accident, regardless of who is at fault. There are some who may think that they are not required to exchange information with the other vehicle if the police are not called to the scene of the accident. However, this requirement also holds true even if the police are not called to the accident.
Georgia law also requires a person to provide reasonable aid or assistance if a person is injured as a result of the motor vehicle accident. This can include calling an ambulance or even transporting the injured person to receive medical care. If the injury victim is unconscious or unable to communicate, the other driver is required to make reasonable efforts to contact the police and emergency medical treatment.
If a driver fails to stop after a motor vehicle accident and there is only property damage or non-serious injury, that person can be charged with a misdemeanor. Failure to stop after an accident that resulted in a death or fatal injury is a felony. A charge of a hit and run violation can be used to prove negligence against the driver that failed to stop. It can also be used to support a claim for punitive damages against the offending driver.
There are far too many instances, however, where a driver does not stop after a motor vehicle accident, even if serious or fatal injuries occurred. When this happens, you may be faced to deal with property damage and physical injuries on your own. You may still be able to get compensation for your injuries if you have uninsured motorist coverage with your insurance policy. You must remember to timely report the accident to your car insurance provider in order to qualify for uninsured motorist coverage. Typically, the time period to notify your insurance carrier that you have been a victim of a hit and run accident is 30 days. But you should inform your insurance carrier as soon as possible after your accident to ensure that you will be able to receive compensation.
Even though the claim you file after a hit and run accident may be with your own insurance company, it is always a good idea to consult with an attorney to make sure you receive the maximum amount of compensation available to you.
If you, or a loved one, have been injured in a hit and run accident by a negligent driver, speaking to an accident injury attorney can help you navigate the law so that you can maximize your recovery and receive all the compensation you deserve.