As much as we wish it were not the case, hit and run accidents are very common. It is difficult to estimate the number of hit and run accidents because of the number of occurrences and the difficulty in finding the offending driver, but the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has estimated that one in five pedestrians killed by a vehicle was involved in a hit and run situation.
Most experts recognize numerous causes of hit and run accidents. Such accidents usually occur at night and on weekends and are often related to drunk driving incidents. Experts assert that people often flee the scene of a vehicle collision if they could also be found guilty of another crime in addition to the vehicle crash. Often, drivers who participate in hit and run accidents do not have a valid driver’s license, have been drinking or taking drugs, do not have valid insurance or registration on their vehicle, or have an arrest warrant for another crime pending. Sometimes, they simply do not want to deal with the repercussions of the accident that they caused, and so they flee the scene instead.
It can be easy to want to pursue the car if you were involved in a hit and run. This is never advisable. If the driver is drunk or high, it can sometimes be even more dangerous to chase the driver than the accident itself was. The first thing you should do is call the police and let them take care of the reckless driving. Try to get information from any witnesses that might have seen the accident — it is best to obtain a license plate number along with the make and model of the offending car, as well as what the driver looked like if he or she could be seen. As with any car wreck, make sure to take pictures of your car and the damage involved if you are in a physical position to do so. However, if you have been injured, you should stay where you are until the police and the paramedics arrive. Your injuries can range from relatively minor to severe, depending on how bad the accident was.
The next step is to contact your insurance company, which is often the most frustrating part of the entire process. Without knowing who the other driver is, it is almost impossible to obtain the information about the other driver’s insurance company and policy. Try to give your insurance company as much information as possible, because victims of hit and run accidents are often entitled to compensation for their injuries even without the information about the reckless driver’s insurance.
The state of Pennsylvania has a law that requires drivers to possess a minimum of $15,000 of liability insurance. However, because so many drivers still travel around Philadelphia without car insurance, Pennsylvania also has a fund called the Assigned Claims Plan (ACP) that provides compensation for people who have been hit by an uninsured motorist or in a hit and run accident. This fund provides up to $15,000 of recovery money to assist with medical bills and vehicle damage. However, because of the fact that you must qualify for the fund, it can helpful to hire a Philadelphia accident lawyer to make sure that you have your case in order.
Hiring an accident lawyer can be very helpful in dealing with your hit and run case, especially when it comes to obtaining the compensation you deserve. Because they know how to handle the legal issues that arise when an accident victim does not know the information about the liable driver, your accident lawyer will help you with your case by negotiating with your insurance company or pursuing other options like the ACP to make sure you receive compensation for your financial and emotional strain in the aftermath of your accident. Give us a call today at 215 735 4800 – don’t let yourself or a loved one suffer because of a hit and run accident.