If you or a loved one have been involved in a hit and run accident in Georgia, you may be wondering what happens next. Your mind may be racing. You may feel overwhelmed, confused, angry, anxious, and fearful.
However, it’s important to remain calm and maintain control of your actions. If you let emotions guide your actions, you could make a mistake which could impact your ability to receive compensation for property damage, medical bills, lost wages, and more.
Brady M. Larrison at Larrison Law Firm Auto Accident and Personal Injury Attorneys can help you get the compensation you deserve.
What is Georgia’s Hit and Run Law?
Georgia’s hit and run law states that drivers who are involved in a crash have a duty to stop at the scene. If they do not stop and are later identified, they may face punitive damages in addition to being held liable for physical injuries and/or property damage.
Steps to Take After a Hit and Run Accidents in Georgia
The most common types of hit and run accidents in Georgia include:
- Collisions with parked vehicles
- Collisions with pedestrians or bicyclists
- Collisions with moving vehicles on the roadway
It’s possible to receive compensation for a hit and run accident through your auto insurance’s UM/UIM policy, but you must take several steps to protect your rights.
Below, we will explain what to do in a hit and run accident:
Remember as much information as possible
When you are involved in a hit and run crash, it’s important to take note of the tag number on the vehicle. If not, remember the make, model, and color of the vehicle that fled.
Move to a safe location
Do not leave the scene but try to move your vehicle to a safe location. You want to try to get out of the flow of traffic to avoid causing another crash. You should never leave the scene until you have been dismissed by law enforcement.
Call law enforcement
Call the police as soon as possible to report the accident. You will need an official accident report to file a claim. Make sure that you take note of the name and badge number of the responding officer. Your accident attorney will need it to build your case.
When the officer arrives, give only the facts of what happened- don’t embellish. If you have any information that could help in identifying the other driver, provide the officer with it. Ask for a copy of the report before the officer leaves.
When you are involved in a hit and run accident, it can be easy to forget about the small details, which is why it’s important to take some notes while you wait for the police to arrive. Make sure to include:
- Where you were going
- Where the accident occurred
- Gender and other physical characteristics of the other driver
- License plate number of the other vehicle, if possible — even a partial plate number can help
You should also take the time to evaluate the damage to your vehicle. You will need this to calculate the extent of your loss. Take photos of all angles of your vehicle, especially dents, scratches, and other visible damage. Make sure to also take photos of the area around you including the weather, nearby structures, and cross streets.
Look around the area for witnesses and/or security cameras that could support your statements regarding the accident. Ask if they are willing to give a statement to the officer and try to get their contact information for your accident attorney. This can be helpful in building your accident claim.
Seek medical treatment
Once the officer has completed the investigation, your next step should be to visit a medical provider.
They will be able to assess your overall health and well-being and determine if the crash resulted in any injuries. This is important because in some cases, adrenaline may be masking your symptoms. In some cases, victims don’t notice their symptoms until several days later.
Make sure to keep notes about your symptoms and write down the name and contact information of each and every medical provider you meet with, as well as their diagnosis and treatments/medications provided.
Contact an accident attorney and file a lawsuit
When you are involved in a hit and run accident, it’s important to contact an accident attorney right away. A lawyer can help you file a claim with your insurance company, and go after the other driver’s insurance if found.
Let Brady M. Larrison Represent Your Hit and Run Accident
Brady M. Larrison of Larrison Law Firm Auto Accident and Personal Injury Attorneys has more than 10 years of experience as a plaintiff’s attorney. He will leverage his resources to investigate your hit and run crash to hold the other party accountable, and his skills in negotiating with the insurance companies. Message us through our website or call the office at 770-626-7895 to schedule your no-obligation consultation today.
Hit and Run Accident FAQs
Below are a few of the most frequently asked questions about hit and run accidents in Georgia:
Are punitive damages available?
If a driver fails to stop after a collision, punitive damages are available against them, if they are caught. Unfortunately, you cannot seek punitive damages through your auto policy’s UM/UIM coverage. You may only claim compensatory damages in this case.
What if a driver hit my parked car and left?
Georgia law requires that all drivers involved in a crash stop at the scene, even if they hit a parked vehicle. The driver who caused the accident could be liable for property damages and lost wages from having the vehicle out of commission — and, if the vehicle was occupied, they may be held liable for medical expenses and more.
If a driver hits a parked car and leaves the scene, you should look for witnesses and/or security camera footage of the area to identify the driver.
Then, contact law enforcement to file a police report and your insurance company to file a claim.