Hit and Run Accidents
In Pennsylvania, drivers who are involved in car accidents are required to stop and and take certain steps before leaving the scene. Failing to do this can have severe consequences for the at-fault driver, but also for any injured parties who are unable to receive medical aid as a result of the responsible party’s actions. If you were recently injured in a hit and run accident, it is crucial to contact an experienced car accident attorney who can help you seek the compensation you deserve.
All drivers who are involved in an accident that results in property damage or the injury or death of another person are required by law to stop and provide certain information to the other parties and responding police officers, including his or her:
- Vehicle registration number;
- Driver’s license number; and
- Insurance information.
Additionally, drivers are also required to give reasonable assistance to any injured parties. This includes making arrangements for that person to be transported to a doctor, surgeon, or hospital for treatment, but only if it is apparent that treatment is necessary or if the injured party requests it.
If a police officer does not respond to the accident and the injured parties are unable to receive the driver’s information, the driver must report the accident to the nearest police department. The penalties for failing to fulfill these responsibilities can be very serious. For example, a hit and run driver can be charged with either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances of the case, which could result in a prison sentence of up to seven years.
Criminal penalties are not the only repercussions in a hit and run case. This is because a hit and run driver can be held legally responsible for an injured party’s expenses if his or her negligent or reckless driving caused an accident. As a result, the at-fault party may be required to pay for some or all of the following damages:
- Medical costs;
- Property damage;
- Lost wages;
- Loss of future income; and
- Pain and suffering.
Collecting compensation is especially important for victims who sustained serious injuries as a result of the crash as treatment may cost thousands of dollars and require painful surgeries and physical therapy. Injured parties may also be required to take time off from work or pay for a replacement vehicle, all of which can quickly become financially overwhelming.
If You are Injured in a Hit and Run Accident
Many of those who are involved in hit and run crashes are tempted to follow the car who hit them. However, this isn’t a good idea and can actually be dangerous. Instead, victims should attempt to take the following steps:
- Call emergency responders, including the police and an ambulance if someone needs medical assistance;
- Write down details about the car that hit them, such as the color, model, or license plate number;
- Take photos of the damage done to the car as well as the scene of the accident;
- Collect contact information from any witnesses; and
- Obtain a copy of the police report.
Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney Today
If you live in Pennsylvania and were recently injured in a hit and run accident, please contact van der Veen, O’Neill, Hartshorn, and Levin at 215-546-1000 to schedule a free consultation with a dedicated car accident attorney.