Car accidents are scary, and they often have painful and costly consequences. It is even worse when the person who hits you flees the scene. When this happens, the police don’t get all the facts for their report. This jeopardizes your ability to get compensation for injuries or vehicle damage. However, you should know that you can hold a hit-and-run driver responsible in Georgia. You can even help the police to catch the driver. Here’s what you should do to boost your chances of getting damages.
Advice from an Auto Accident Lawyer in Georgia
The first thing you need to do after a hit-and-run is to get help. If you are a bicyclist or pedestrian, your injuries may be quite serious. You may not be able to move so if you can’t get up, cry out for help or call 911. It is important that you get your injuries treated as soon as possible. If you’re in a vehicle and your injuries aren’t severe, pull over to the side of the road. Call for help.
Once you are safe and able to do so, write down everything you can remember about the vehicle and driver. You may be able to identify the color, make or model of the car. You may also remember whether the driver was a man or a woman. It’s even better if you can recall the license plate number. This will be especially helpful to those investigating the crash.
Look around for any witnesses and ask them what they saw. You should also get their contact information so the police and your attorney will be able to reach them later. At the same time, take photos of the accident scene, the damage to your vehicle and any injuries.
Once the police arrive on the scene, you will need to make an official report. Even if you feel okay immediately after the accident or think your injuries are minor, go to the doctor. Some injuries will take hours or days to appear but a doctor may be able to identify them early on. You will need a medical report if you later want to seek compensation for your injuries.
How Georgia Treats Hit-and-Runs According to an Auto Accident Lawyer in Georgia
Any car accident can have serious consequences but hit-and-runs are particularly frowned upon. The courts view this as evading responsibility and it is illegal in Georgia. This means you may get punitive damages if the driver is found. After most car accidents, you only get enough to cover medical bills, car repairs and lost wages. Punitive damages are awarded by the court as an additional form of compensation. However, the key purpose is to punish the driver and deter them from such behavior in the future.
Georgia is a fault state. This means the driver who caused the accident has to pay your costs. Their insurance company will usually pick up the bill. Whether the driver fled or not, they still have an obligation to you. If you managed to get the license plate, it will be easier to track them down. However, the police have the skills to find them even if you don’t know the license plate number. Therefore, you should stay at the scene and wait for the police.
Once you make your report, they will begin to look for the car and driver. If that driver’s car was damaged, it may not get very far so the police may find it quickly. Sometimes, they may have to search more extensively. The police will:
- Talk to eyewitnesses and get their reports
- Track the license plate to the registered owner
- Search neighborhoods close by for a car that meets the description
- Publicize the vehicle’s description so members of the public can turn in the driver
Sometimes hit-and-run drivers turn themselves in after they have calmed down. This makes everything go a lot more smoothly. However, if all else fails, accident investigators may be able to help. That’s one of the reasons you should contact an auto accident lawyer in Georgia for assistance. We have access to a range of experts who can work to ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
Contact an Auto Accident Lawyer in Georgia
If you’ve been injured by a hit-and-run driver, you need to contact an auto accident lawyer in Georgia. Despite what you may have heard, your case is not a lost cause. The driver can be tracked down and held accountable for their actions. Don’t delay. The sooner you get an attorney on your case, the more likely it is that you can get compensation. Reach out to us today for a consultation!