Understandably so, you may be left in a state of shock immediately following the impact of your car collision. With this, you may be delayed in processing the fact that the other driver has simply fled the scene. You must take the right steps at this time to even have a chance at successfully identifying the negligent driver to hold your claim against. Read on to discover what to do after being made the victim of a hit-and-run and how a seasoned Panama City car accident attorney at Manuel & Thompson, PA can help justice reign supreme.
What should I avoid doing after a hit-and-run?
If not anything else, you must avoid cashing down the fleeing driver after your hit-and-run accident. First of all, your car may have incurred serious damages from the collision that make it no longer safe to operate on the busy Florida roads. Even without serious damages, you do not want to drive recklessly and violate numerous traffic regulations in your attempt to track them down.
Secondly, the fleeing driver may be a dangerous individual who you do not want to encounter without the presence of law enforcement. Namely, they may be “on the run” from an arrest warrant; they may be carrying a violent weapon; or they may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Lastly, you must understand that two wrongs do not make a right. In other words, leaving the scene of your car accident is illegal by Florida law; even if you have only fled to chase down the other driver. So if you leave without first reporting the crash to law enforcement, you may be charged with a hit-and-run offense, too. This may carry quite significant criminal penalties.
What should I do after being made the victim of a hit-and-run accident?
Rather than chasing down the fleeing driver after your hit-and-run accident, it may better serve you to take the following steps:
- Take out your phone and take a quick snapshot that captures the fleeing vehicle’s make, model, color, and license plate number, along with the driver’s physical characteristics.
- Call 911 and provide the dispatcher with your description of the fleeing vehicle and driver, along with the general direction they were headed.
- Exit your vehicle, only if it is safe to do so, and speak with present witnesses who may have their own photos, videos, or personal recount of your car accident event.
- Provide your statement of the car accident event to the law enforcement officer who arrived at the scene, along with asking present witnesses to do the same.
Even if you are just considering taking legal action, it is best to first consult with a competent Panama City auto accident attorney. So please contact us at Manuel & Thompson, PA today.