Traffic accidents are some of the worst experiences you can have—even if no one is hurt, you could be saddled with hundreds or thousands of dollars in repair costs, increased insurance premiums, and more. Of course, if you’re less lucky, you could be facing thousands in medical bills, ongoing physical therapy, lost wages, permanent disability, or even death.
If the other driver leaves the scene without exchanging information or talking to the police, they’ve committed a hit and run. While there might be plenty of reasons behind someone’s hit and run—they could panic and drive off, be under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or a number of others—the fact remains that driving away after an accident is a crime in Louisiana.
Legal Requirements for Drivers After an Accident
Louisiana law requires each driver involved in a collision to stay at the scene, share their identity, and render reasonable aid to the other drivers involved. Any driver that flees the scene without doing these things could face criminal charges, and if they’re found to be liable for the accident, could face higher damages.
If you’re the victim of a hit-and-run accident, you could stand to recover significant damages for your injuries and other costs. Even though the other driver has fled the scene, they can often be identified by witnesses, surveillance cameras, and investigations by local police and hit-and-run accident lawyers.
Who’s At-fault in a Hit and Run Accident?
Determining who is at fault in a hit and run accident can be difficult and is not always clear-cut. If you’ve been injured in an accident where the other driver fled the scene, you can seek compensation from them after they’re identified, however, if you can only identify the owner of the vehicle involved and not necessarily the driver, they can still be held accountable for your injuries. Finally, if you hold Uninsured Motorist (UM) insurance, you can seek compensation for your injuries from your insurance company.
Of course, the difficult part of recovering any damages after the accident is finding who should be held liable and securing compensation from that party. Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys have decades of experience in talking to witnesses, canvassing the scene of a crash, and finding and interpreting evidence. We’ll work tirelessly to determine who is at-fault in your car accident while holding them accountable for your injuries so you can get the compensation you deserve.
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The Evidence Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys Could Obtain for Your Case
While every accident, including hit-and-run cases, is different, there are some crucial pieces of evidence that will greatly strengthen your case:
- The police report is not evidence per se, but will contain important information pertinent to your case, such as a description of the accident, witness identification, and diagrams of the scene.
- Photos of the scene are best if they’re taken immediately after the accident, so if you can, document the scene with your phone or camera. If you can’t the day of, later pictures can still reveal vital evidence for your case.
- Vehicle damage can be assessed at the scene, as well as at the body shop later. We’ll also look for physical evidence, such as tire marks and debris, as well as the “black box” data from your vehicle.
- Witness statements can be vital in identifying the hit-and-run driver and holding them to account for their actions. We’ll contact witnesses to understand what they saw, as well as take a look at any video evidence from dash cams and CCTV cameras.
What You Should Do After a Hit and Run Accident
If you’ve been in a hit-and-run accident in Louisiana, the very first thing you should do is pull over to safety. If you or your passengers are hurt, focus on getting everyone stable and call 911. Even if you don’t think you’re hurt, or have suffered minimal damage, the extent of your injuries might not be apparent right away.
You should also gather as much information as you can about the accident while you’re at the scene. Take pictures of your car, the road, and your injuries. If you can, write down or photograph the other driver’s license plate as they drive away. Ask bystanders if they happened to notice anything identifying about the other car, and ask them to stand by to give their statements to arriving first responders.
What You Should Not Do After an Accident
Whatever happens, do not chase the other driver—they’ve already shown they’re reckless, and could act irrationally in pursuit. Your car could also be unsafe to drive. Finally, you’ll be unable to show where you were during the accident if you leave the scene, losing out on vital evidence in your case.
If You’ve Been the Victim of a Hit and Run, Call Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys
At Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys, we understand how devastating car accident injuries can be. That’s why we’re dedicated to helping victims of all Louisiana car accidents, especially hit-and-run accidents, find the people responsible for their damages and hold them to account.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of a hit and run driver, call our Louisiana personal injury law firm today. We offer free legal consultations at 888.501.7888, and we guarantee that we won’t charge you a dime until we win or settle your case.