You are a responsible motorist. You drive carefully, you have insurance as required by Georgia law, and you obey the rules of the road (mostly). And you never would dream of leaving the scene of an accident. Unfortunately, not all Georgia drivers are as responsible as you are, and hit-and-run accidents leading to injuries are a common occurrence. If you are injured by a hit-and-run driver in Alpharetta or any other city in Georgia, you’ll want to know what to do, both immediately and in terms of recovering compensation for your losses.
Hit-and-Run is a Serious Crime in Georgia
Sometimes, hit-and-run drivers are identified and caught by law enforcement. Leaving the scene of an accident and failing to provide aid or assistance to anyone injured in the accident is a felony in Georgia that can lead to up to five years in prison if the accident resulted in serious injury or death. Police will want to catch the driver who injured you and prosecutors will want to hold them accountable.
In such cases, you can pursue compensation against the driver and their insurance company as you would in any other case. But that doesn’t happen a lot of the time.
Take These Steps After a Hit-and-Run
Here is what to do if you get in a hit-and-run accident to increase the odds the driver will be found and increase your chances of obtaining compensation:
- Call for help. The first thing you need to do is get medical attention for yourself and any passengers who may be hurt. Call 911 and wait for first responders to arrive at the scene. When police arrive, tell them matter-of-factly what happened and relay any information you have about who hit you.
- Try to ID the car and driver. It may be hard to focus when you are reeling and injured after being suddenly and unexpectedly hit. But if you see the other car starting to drive away, try to get as many details about the car and driver as possible. Ideally, you’ll be able to get a license plate number. But even without that, information such as the make, model, color, and condition of the car or any physical description of the driver may be helpful to police as they try to track down the driver.
- Stay in touch with the police. Make sure you stay in touch with police as they conduct their investigation so you’ll know if and when they apprehend the person who caused your injuries.
- Contact your car insurance company. People involved in hit-and-run accidents often mistakenly think they will be unable to obtain compensation for their injuries. After all, if there’s no one to sue, there is no one to obtain a judgement against. But if you have uninsured motorist (UIM) coverage as part of your car insurance policy, you may be able to obtain compensation from your insurer. You are not required to have UIM coverage in Georgia, but all car insurance companies must offer you the option of such coverage. UIM policies offered in Georgia must include coverage for injuries or wrongful death caused in a hit-and-run accident.
Of course, just because you have UIM coverage and have made a claim under your policy doesn’t mean that your insurer will treat you fairly or meet its obligations under the policy. Remember, insurance companies are in business to make money. Even though they will tell you that they are your good neighbor and that you’re in good hands with them, they may still seek to deny coverage or make you a lowball settlement offer.
That is just one of many reasons why you should consult with an experienced Alpharetta auto accident attorney after a hit-and-run accident, regardless of whether the other driver has been identified.
Speak With an Alpharetta Car Accident Attorney at North Metro Litigators Today
The Alpharetta personal injury attorneys at North Metro Litigators will be on your side every step of the way as you face the challenges that come with a hit-and-run car accident case. Call us today at (678) 944-0000 or contact us to arrange for your free initial consultation.