Steps to Take If You’re Hurt in Hit and Run Accident
In California, Penal Code 2001 covers vehicular accidents that cause personal injury or death. It requires drivers to remain on the scene. Fleeing the scene is punishable by hefty fines and incarceration. Unfortunately, hit and run accidents are all too common. If you’ve been the victim of a hit and run accident, contact an attorney in San Jose. Your personal injury lawyer will protect your legal rights and explain your options.
Make a Note of Identifying Information
Immediately after an accident, you should try to remember as much information about the vehicle as you can. Ideally, you’ll make a note of the license plate number. Even if you only remember part of the license plate number, this is still helpful for the authorities. If possible, write this information down, along with the color, make, and model of the vehicle. Make a note of any other details that may help the police identify the driver, such as the driver’s description, whether the car was damaged, or even whether the car had a distinctive bumper sticker.
Call the Authorities
As soon as you’ve written down all the details you can remember, call 911. Inform the emergency dispatcher that you’ve just been struck by a vehicle and the driver fled the crash site. Let the dispatcher know your exact location and which direction the driver was heading. Provide all of the identifying information you have. Additionally, inform the emergency dispatcher if you may require an ambulance.
Talk to Witnesses
While you’re waiting for the police officers to arrive, ask any nearby witnesses for their names and contact information. The officers will likely want to interview the witnesses during the course of their investigation. In addition, your personal injury lawyer can use witness statements to substantiate your claim.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer
Schedule a consultation with a personal injury lawyer as soon as you have talked to the police, filed a police report, and received medical attention. Provide your lawyer with any information you have on the case. He or she may ask for a copy of the police report and information about your insurance carrier. If the hit and run driver is identified, your lawyer can file a personal injury lawsuit on your behalf, which will proceed separately from any criminal charges. Alternatively, your lawyer can help you recover compensation from your insurance carrier.