In today’s fast-paced world, motor vehicle accidents are an unfortunate reality. The legal system in all states, including Georgia, aims to protect road accident victims, especially those who get injured because of another person’s negligence. In Decatur, Georgia, compensation for motor vehicle accident victims depends on fault. However, often drivers who hit another vehicle flee the accident scene; this type of accident is called a hit and run collision. Despite it being illegal to flee the accident scene, Decatur hit and run accidents remain common.
If you sustain injuries in one of these accidents, pursuing compensation for your injuries and other damages could be daunting because you might not know the identity of the negligent driver. Fortunately, an experienced personal injury attorney can advise you of your legal options. When you work with a Decatur hit and run accident lawyer, they can help you identify the at-fault driver or file a claim with your insurance company.
In Georgia, when a hit and run driver is caught, they are guilty of a misdemeanor which is punishable by a fine of $300-$1000 and/or a jail sentence of up to 12 months.
Also, a Decatur hit and run driver who causes severe injuries or death of another person is guilty of a felony once they’re caught; this is punishable by a jail sentence of 12 months to five years.
There are additional penalties for those convicted of a second or subsequent hit and run offense within five years:
Calling 911 is one of the most crucial things a hit and run victim can do. All drivers, involved in a crash, regardless of how minor, must stop at the accident scene until police arrive and they must fulfill certain duties before leaving the accident scene.
Driver responsibilities in Georgia include calling the local police if the accident caused injuries, death, or more than $1,000 in vehicle damage. A police hit and run investigation focuses on the facts available. The responding police officer will visit the accident scene to find out what happened. The officer will collect statements from victims and eyewitnesses. Further, the officer will gather any available evidence from the scene of the accident. This may include taking photos of the scene, brake marks on the ground, video footage, or paint chips on the damaged car. The officer will then submit the hit and run and the missing person report to the police station and the Department of Motor Vehicles.
Even though the motor vehicle collision is a minor fender bender, a driver must report to the law enforcement authorities about the hit and run. It’s a crime to leave the crash scene before police arrive. Notifying the police about a hit and run driver will alert them to a criminal in the area, and they’ll launch an investigation. The police might track the driver that caused the accident and force them to take accountability.
Unfortunately, the Decatur police don’t solve many hit and run crash cases. That’s because often there’s insufficient evidence to build a case against the at-fault party. Other times, the hit and run driver is long gone by the time the police get a lead. With no information about the hit and run driver, it’s difficult for the police to piece together the identity of the suspect.
However, this doesn’t mean that the crash investigation team will give up. The Decatur police might come across an important piece of evidence that can help them catch the hit and run driver. For instance, a new witness who was afraid to come forward before may suddenly reveal what they saw. Often, especially in tragic hit and run crashes; the police may give the story to the media to help spread awareness. A news story may have a larger audience and might help find someone who knows about the hit and run driver. Georgia law enforcement is as aggressive as possible during hit and run investigations.
If Decatur police catch the hit and run driver, he or she is liable for the victim’s damages. But, if the police don’t catch the hit and run driver, the hit and run victim may seek compensation via his or her auto insurance policy. Uninsured and underinsured motorist insurance policies cover medical expenses and property damage after hit and run crashes.
Thus, a driver involved in a Decatur hit and run accident must call their insurance company to see if they can file an insurance claim. If not, the only other way to recover your damages after a hit and run accident is through a third-party claim. A Decatur hit and run accident attorney at Marks Law Group can help you investigate your accident and identify options for financial recovery.
Most people don’t consider hiring a hit and run lawyer until it’s too late. Nothing ruins your life like a car accident, and it’s even worse when the person responsible takes off, leaving you with thousands of dollars in medical bills and property damage. Here are three reasons why you should consider hiring an experienced personal injury attorney to help you recover compensation in a hit and run accident claim:
When you’re involved in a car accident in Georgia, you may recover compensation to cover your medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering. This doesn’t change just because the person responsible fled the scene of the accident.
At Marks Law Group, our legal team will work tirelessly to secure compensation for all your damages. All you have to do is call our injury law firm today at 404-939-1485 to schedule a free initial consultation. We have helped hit and run victims in Dekalb county, Decatur and throughout Georgia recover millions of dollars for their hit and run accidents and we can help you and your family as well.