What to Do After a Hit-and-Run in Pennsylvania
It’s a tragedy that happens all too often in Pennsylvania. Someone is walking down the street, riding their bike, or even driving their car and they become struck by a driver. To add insult to injury, the driver doesn’t even remain at the scene. Instead, they leave the accident scene, leaving victims with seemingly nowhere to turn. It’s a scenario that played out in Ferguson County, Pennsylvania recently, when a cyclist was hit by a driver that left the scene.
So, what can injured individuals do when they find themselves in this situation?
Call the Police
Fleeing the scene of an accident is a crime under Pennsylvania Criminal Code Title 18 Section 3742. While a criminal conviction will not get you any compensation, the police will look for the offender. The sooner you call them, the better chance you have of also finding the driver so you can hold them responsible in a civil action. Additionally, after arriving at the scene, the police will file a police report. This can help you in a personal injury case later on.
One of the most frustrating elements of a hit-and-run case for accident victims is that they don’t think there’s any evidence at the scene. They don’t have the driver’s name and often, they didn’t have time to write down the driver’s license plate number. This doesn’t mean the situation is hopeless.
There is often still evidence left at an accident scene. This may come in the form of witness statements, or video footage taken by video surveillance, such as that of a business in the area. Sometimes there is also damage to the vehicle, and that damage is left behind. If a mirror or bumper fell off the driver’s vehicle, make sure you keep it, or at least take pictures of the item. That could also help with a future claim.
Seek Medical Attention
After any accident, it’s crucial that you seek medical attention. Even if you don’t think you’re hurt, which is unlikely in a hit-and-run, you could still sustain injuries that are not readily apparent. Concussions, internal bleeding, and whiplash are just a few common conditions that don’t show up right away after an accident.
Not only is your health the most important priority after a hit-and-run accident, but failing to seek medical attention can also hurt a future personal injury claim.
Check Your Insurance Policy
Even if you were hit as a cyclist or a pedestrian, your own auto insurance may still cover you in the case of a hit-and-run accident if you have uninsured motorist coverage. Auto insurance policies with uninsured motorist coverage may cover any injuries that resulted from a motor vehicle accident. Even if you weren’t driving at the time, a hit-and-run is still considered a motor vehicle accident. If you have your own vehicle that is insured, you are covered under the state’s no-fault auto insurance laws.
Although you’re dealing with your own insurance company, it’s still important that you don’t call them until you have spoken to an attorney. A lawyer can advise on how to deal with the insurance company to ensure they don’t try any of their deceptive or manipulative tactics on you. Speaking to an attorney first will help protect your claim.
Call the Experienced Philadelphia Personal Injury Lawyers After a Hit and Run
If you’ve been hurt by a hit-and-run driver, do not file a lawsuit on your own. The experienced Philadelphia personal injury lawyers at van der Veen, O’Neill, Hartshorn & Levin are here to help. After a hit-and-run accident, we will conduct an investigation in order to find the at-fault driver. Even if the driver cannot be found, we will hold the insurance company accountable for paying you the full settlement you are entitled to so it’s easier to recover from your injuries. Call us today at (215) 546-8529 or contact us online to get the help you need.