If you are involved in a car accident it is your responsibility to stop and give your identity to the other driver, and also to render reasonable aid. Failure to do so, is considered a “hit and run” accident by Louisiana law. Depending on the seriousness of the accident, the penalty for a hit and run can range from court fines to spending time in prison.
What to do if you are in an accident and the guilty driver leaves the scene of the accident:
If you are in your vehicle and the guilty driver does not stop, it is important to remember a few important things.
If there are injuries, call 911 for medical assistance.
If no one is seriously injured, write down as many details of the accident as possible. If you can remember the car make, model or even license plate number, make note of them. Write down the location and time of the accident. If there are any witnesses to the accident, get their names and phone numbers.
Remain calm and call the police. Do not chase after the driver that hit you. Even if you don’t have much information regarding the driver, it is still important to call the police. A report will be filed and this can help speed up the claims process with the insurance company.
If you have enough information regarding the driver that hit you and the driver is identified, you can file a claim with their insurance company. If you can’t locate the driver, you will have to file a claim with your insurance company. If you or your passengers were injured, you can make a personal injury claim- but only if you have uninsured motorist coverage.
There are different types of protections in your insurance coverage. One type is for bodily injury, which includes injuries to you and any passenger in the vehicle. Another type is for coverage for damage to property. If you do not have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage and can’t identify the driver that hit you, then you will have to pay any expenses on your own.
When you are purchasing auto insurance, be sure to discuss with your agent the possibility of buying uninsured motorist coverage. The expense is usually not very large, and it could provide you with an important extra layer of protection in case you are injured. If you are the victim of a hit and run driver, this coverage could be your only protection.
Get Help As Soon As You Can
Our firm handles many cases that involve hit and run accidents. If you have questions about an accident you were involved in, call our office for a free consultation and talk with one of our experienced personal injury attorneys.