The simple answer is YES.
- Always contact the police to come out and do a report even if the person who caused the accident leaves. It is important that the police report documents damage to your vehicle from the accident and that it was caused by someone else who left the scene.
- Also, make sure to inform the officer about as much information about the vehicle as possible so the officer or an attorney such as myself can locate the owner of the vehicle later.
If the owner of the vehicle is later located and they have insurance then having the police report showing the accident happened will help me, your attorney, convince their insurance company to accept your claim.
Normally, if you are in a car accident in Lafayette, Louisiana or Acadiana, one thing you and the other driver typically do is share auto insurance information. This is especially true if you have been injured. But in a hit and run accident, the other party runs off before you or the police have a chance to identify them and/or obtain insurance information. These types of accidents are unfortunately very common.
What happens if you cannot locate the owner?
- Well, if you have uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage (UM) then you can still file a claim for your personal injuries and property damage using your UM coverage. UM stands for Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury Coverage.
However, this is where having an attorney becomes even more important because most insurance companies will try to deny a claim involving a Hit & Run. But why?
- Insurance companies will try to deny a Hit & Run claim unless you can prove they actually hit your car and caused your damage. This is why having a police report is so important for all car accidents but especially for hit & run accidents. The police report will help prove that someone did in fact hit your vehicle.
What if I don't have UM coverage on my vehicle and I cannot locate the hit & run driver? Can I still file a claim for my injuries?
- Unfortunately the answer is no because there is nobody to file against since nobody knows who the person is who caused the accident. This is why having UM/UIM bodily injury insurance is so important.
If you have been injured in Hit & Run accident caused by someone else Contact Rut today at 337-CALL RUT (225-5788) to schedule a Free Consultation and speak to me about your case.
Why Drivers in Lafayette, Louisiana or Acadiana Leave the Scene of a Crash
In the immediate aftermath of a car crash, a driver scared of the repercussions of causing an accident may flee the scene. Common reasons include:
- Driver's license suspension
- Expired driver's license
- No auto insurance
- Driving a vehicle without permission
- Driving a stolen vehicle
- Warrant out for the driver's arrest
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or other chemical substance
- Driver is in the country illegally
These are not the only reasons. For some people, they may have a genuine fear for their safety. Commercial drivers may fear the loss of their commercial driver's license (CDL). Whatever the reason, the problem for you is that they left the scene of the accident.
What to Do After a Hit and Run Crash in Lafayette, Louisiana or Acadiana
Victims who have been hit by a driver who sped off should
- Stay calm
- Stay at the scene, but in a safe place
- CALL THE POLICE to conduct a crash report
- Look for any witnesses who saw the crash and get their contact information
- Take photos of the scene of the accident
- Make notes of the car and/or driver, any details could be useful later
Victims should not try to follow the driver. The odds of tracking them down are extremely slim, and leaving the scene could make it more difficult to prove that there was a crash, at all.
CALL RUT if you have been injured in a Hit and Run Accident in Lafayette, Louisiana or Acadiana Today
If you have been involved in a hit and run accident, you should first seek help for any injuries you may have suffered. When you can, however, it is in your best interests to speak to a lawyer. At the Law Office of David Rutledge, attorney Rut review your case, follow up with the police, and help you identify your best options.
Remember, you have rights, and we help you uphold those rights. Contact us today at 337-CALL RUT (225-5788) to schedule a Free Consultation and learn more.