If you got hurt in a hit-and-run accident in South Carolina, you probably have many questions. Frequently, the driver who fled the scene illegally will turn himself in or get caught within a few days or weeks of the collision. At the time of the crash, however, you have no way of knowing if they will ever catch the driver.
A South Carolina personal injury attorney can advocate on your behalf and help you navigate this tricky situation. Not knowing what to do can make the situation more stressful for you, so here is a guide to hit-and-run accidents in South Carolina – what you need to know.
You Can Increase the Odds of the Hit-and-Run Driver Getting Caught
Try to notice as many details as possible about the other vehicle, and share this information with law enforcement and your personal injury attorney. Sometimes, the tiniest detail, like a bumper sticker, is the item that leads to the capture of the hit-and-run driver.
If you can do so safely at the scene of the accident, make a note of the color of the car as well as the make and model. If you can remember even part of the license plate number, that could help the police. Also, notice the direction the car drove from the scene. If you call 911 immediately and share that information with them, they might catch the hit-and-run driver before the driver hides the vehicle.
You or another person in your car could try to use your cell phone to capture a photograph or brief video of the car as it speeds away. The police might be able to enlarge and enhance the images to retrieve more information that could be useful to them.
Additional Sources of Evidence
Look around at the scene of the hit-and-run accident for anyone who might have witnessed the collision itself or seen the car shortly before or after the crash. You will want to get the names and contact information of these people and provide that to law enforcement. Talking to those people while you are still at the scene could give you information that could help catch the driver. People often forget details with the passage of time, so you want to talk with them right away.
It is essential to note the precise time that the crash happened, to make it easier to track down security camera footage in the neighborhood. Also, you will want to make a note of the exact location of the collision. Often, video doorbell cameras and security cameras at residences and businesses within a few blocks of the crash capture valuable footage that helps to identify the hit-and-run driver. Red light cameras at intersections can also be useful.
Your Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Insurance Coverage on Your Automobile Policy
If you have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage on your automobile policy, that insurance can help to pay for your losses from a hit-and-run collision if they do not find the driver who left the scene of the accident. Sometimes, people flee from a crash site because they do not have car insurance. Even if found, the at-fault driver might not have coverage that can cover your losses. In that situation, your uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage can still help you.
People often have questions about what happens if it takes a while for the police to capture the hit-and-run driver. For example, if you already had to pay your deductible and your uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage paid for some of your damages, what happens when they later find the hit-and-run driver? In that situation, you should get reimbursed for your deductible and the hit-and-run driver’s automobile insurance company should reimburse your insurance company for the money they paid.
Hit and run accidents are challenging, complicated events. A South Carolina personal injury attorney could talk to you and represent you in your personal injury claim. Contact our office today for legal help, we offer a free consultation.