- January 16, 2024
- Strong Law
- Car Accidents
If you or a loved one has suffered mental, physical, or medical damages due to the careless actions of a reckless driver, you may be entitled to financial compensation.
In the unfortunate event that the driver responsible for your car accident fails to identify themselves, also known as a “hit and run,” they have violated both civil and criminal law.
However, if you are able to locate the driver, it is common for their insurance companies to dispute any claims in an attempt to avoid paying what they owe. This is particularly true if the other driver refuses to accept fault. As a result, many people find themselves wondering: what evidence is necessary to prove a hit and run?
Proving a Hit and Run: Essential Evidence to Establish Liability
In the unfortunate event of a hit and run, the burden of proof lies in gathering crucial evidence. Here are some key takeaways to help you navigate the process effectively while ensuring clarity, coherence, and the preservation of the original meaning.
When it comes to holding a driver accountable for causing damages and fleeing the scene, it is crucial to have substantial evidence that proves your account beyond a reasonable doubt. To ensure that you receive the full settlement you deserve and successfully prosecute the responsible party, you will need to gather evidence related to the collision, injuries, property damages, and the driver’s identity.
Evidence of the collision can include photographic and video documentation of the scene, witness statements, and evidence of paint or damage transfer between the vehicles. Proof of damages encompasses medical bills, vehicle repair estimates and invoices, lost wages, and any documents that demonstrate the loss of earning capacity.
To establish the driver’s identity, you can provide information such as the license plate number, vehicle description, cell phone records, surveillance footage, and any damaged parts left behind from their car.
It is important to note that insurance company lawyers will do their best to make it challenging to prove their client’s responsibility for your damages. This article aims to provide an overview of hit and run cases, the relevance of evidence, and guidance on what steps to take after such an incident, including how to collect evidence.
Furthermore, we strongly recommend consulting with an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer who can offer a free consultation to review the specifics of your case. They can provide invaluable assistance in gathering all the necessary documentation and hit-and-run evidence to support your story and ensure that you receive the compensation you are entitled to.
What constitutes a hit and run incident?
A hit and run is a criminal act committed when a driver involved in a collision flees the scene without stopping to identify themselves or provide assistance. All states have implemented laws that classify hit-and-run incidents as criminal offenses, with the severity of the charges depending on the extent of the accident.
Regardless of whether the driver collides with a motorcycle, bicycle, pedestrian, or another vehicle, they are legally obligated to disclose their identity to the other parties involved. Providing aid to injured individuals may involve contacting emergency services such as 911 or an ambulance, depending on the nature of the injuries and property damage.
Despite the illegality of hit-and-run incidents, they unfortunately continue to occur. At-fault drivers often flee the scene due to factors such as intoxication, lack of insurance coverage, or simply fear and panic.
However, even if the responsible driver flees, it is still possible to seek compensation for the damages incurred to both you and your vehicle. To do so, it is important to understand the necessary evidence required to substantiate a hit-and-run claim. Let us first explore what steps to take after a hit-and-run incident, and then delve into the process of proving a hit-and-run case and the potential assistance offered by a pedestrian accident lawyer.
What Should I Do After a Hit and Run?
As soon as an accident occurs, you have the opportunity to begin building a case and collecting evidence in the event of a hit-and-run, provided you are emotionally and physically able to do so. Let’s examine the initial steps you should take after experiencing a hit-and-run incident:
- Call 911: Contact emergency services and inform them about the accident and the fact that the responsible driver fled the scene. Clearly explain how the driver’s negligence caused the collision, and describe any damages, pain, or injuries you have sustained. Provide the police with as much detail as possible regarding the fleeing driver, including their license plate number, the vehicle they were driving, and any witnesses present at the scene. This information will assist the investigating officers in locating the at-fault driver.
- Gather evidence to substantiate the hit-and-run: Without jeopardizing your safety, attempt to capture photographs of the other driver and their vehicle as they attempt to flee. Additionally, record the contact information of any witnesses present at the scene. Finally, document as much information as possible about the description of the other driver, their vehicle, their reckless behavior, and the collision itself. It is surprising how much one can forget over time, and insurance companies may exploit any missing information to your disadvantage.
- Seek medical attention: After any accident, your health and well-being should be your top priority. Adhere to the recommendations of medical personnel at the scene, including visiting a hospital or doctor’s clinic if advised. Keep track of all relevant documents and attend any follow-up appointments scheduled for you.
- Retain the services of a skilled pedestrian accident lawyer: Many experienced pedestrian accident lawyers offer complimentary consultations to evaluate your options based on the specific details of your accident. Our team at Strong Law is well-versed in reviewing insurance policies to identify coverage for your damages. We possess the expertise necessary to determine the at-fault driver’s identity and file a claim against their insurance policy. Given that a hit-and-run is a crime, the police are typically cooperative in their efforts to track down the responsible driver.
- Notify your insurance company: It is crucial to promptly inform your insurance company about the accident, even if you were not at fault. Your insurance policy may include Uninsured Motorist coverage that applies in cases of hit-and-run incidents where the at-fault driver is never located.
All the evidence listed above is vital for establishing your innocence in the matter. It is important to note that even your own insurance company may attempt to shift blame onto you if it saves them money. Therefore, we recommend consulting with an accident lawyer to review your policy and guide you through a free consultation before providing your insurance company with a detailed account of the events.
How to Prove a Hit and Run:
To successfully establish fault in a hit-and-run incident resulting from the other driver’s negligence, it is crucial to gather sufficient evidence. This evidence should demonstrate that the accident occurred due to their reckless driving, causing damages to you. It is essential to prove that the driver intentionally failed to stop and provide aid, and if possible, establish their identity.
Firstly, evidence of collision is crucial. This may include videos or photos taken at the scene, witness statements, and contact information. Additionally, any transfer of paint or damage between your vehicle and the suspect’s vehicle, as well as damages caused to your car and other property, can serve as valuable evidence.
Secondly, it is important to gather evidence of injury and property damages. This may involve medical bills, treatment records, reports on vehicle damages, repair bills or estimates, and any evidence of lost wages or future loss of earning capacity.
Lastly, evidence of the at-fault driver’s identity is vital. It is necessary to prove their involvement in the accident and their subsequent failure to provide their name, contact, and insurance information. Evidence of driver identity can be established through a vehicle or driver description, as well as other means such as license plate numbers, surveillance camera footage, cell phone records, or GPS data.
Collecting the necessary evidence to substantiate a hit-and-run incident and its impact on your life can be overwhelming, particularly in the aftermath of a traumatic car accident. It is important to anticipate that insurance companies may exploit the lack of information about the at-fault driver in an attempt to undermine your claim and minimize their liability.
You don’t have to face it alone. Book a complimentary attorney consultation with our experienced team. We will thoroughly examine the details of your case and explore the options available for insurance coverage and compensation. At Strong Law, we have expertise in employing the following methods to locate and hold accountable the responsible party:
- Gathering relevant information from our clients that can help identify the at-fault driver or their vehicle.
- Coordinating with the investigating officers to gather valuable insights about the incident.
- Conducting investigations on nearby businesses equipped with surveillance cameras that may have captured the accident.
- Interviewing witnesses who possess information about the driver who fled the scene.
- Engaging in conversations with the owners of residential or commercial properties in proximity to the accident site.
- Analyzing any available dash camera or body camera footage related to the collision.