Any kind of serious car accident can be devastating, but a hit and run accident is often even worse than usual. Unless the responsible driver is caught and held accountable for their actions, you may have to pay for your medical bills, lost wages, and physical and mental anguish yourself.
If you are injured by a driver then flees the scene of the accident, you may benefit from enlisting a skilled car accident attorney to manage your efforts to recover damages. A Gwinnett County hit and run accident lawyer may be able to help you collect relevant evidence, work to identify the perpetrator, and effectively pursue the compensation you deserve.
Criminal Penalties for Leaving the Scene of an Accident
Under the Official Code of Georgia §40-6-270, all drivers involved in a car crash must remain at the scene until police arrive if there is any type of injury, fatality or vehicle damage. Whether leaving the scene anyway is charged as a misdemeanor or felony depends on whether anyone was seriously or fatally injured.
If no one was hurt, drivers may face fines of up to $1,000 and up to 12 months in jail for a hit and run, as well as a license suspension. If someone was killed or seriously injured, the driver may face felony charges punishable up to five years in prison.
A guilty verdict in a criminal case may help support a civil case for damages, but it is not a prerequisite in this kind of scenario. Since criminal cases require proof beyond a reasonable doubt for a conviction whereas civil cases only require a preponderance of the evidence, a Gwinnett County hit and run attorney may be able to help a plaintiff recover civil damages even if the defendant in their case is found not guilty of a hit and run criminal charge.
Gathering Evidence and Proving Wrongdoing
In an accident where all involved drivers are present and not severely injured, insurance and contact information should be exchanged. After a hit and run, though, a victim’s first priority after calling appropriate law enforcement authorities should be to take pictures or videos of the scene of the accident and write down or record information what the other vehicle looked like, such as model, make, color, and license plate if possible.
If the driver was seen, plaintiffs should describe the person in as much detail as possible. If there were witnesses, plaintiffs should get their contact information and ask them if they can identify any key facts they may have missed.
Quite often, hit and run accidents involve parked cars, so while no one ends up getting hurt, a vehicle still sustains damage. In such scenarios, local businesses may have surveillance videos that caught the incident on tape. In every aspect of evidence collection and analysis, a hit and run accident lawyer in Gwinnett County could provide experienced and tenacious assistance.
Reach Out to a Gwinnett County Hit and Run Accident Attorney
A seasoned car accident attorney could work to collect any evidence available and conduct an investigation of a hit and run accident. If the driver is caught, strong legal counsel could ensure you demand a fair and appropriate settlement amount involves and determine how much the at-fault’s insurance—or your own uninsured motorist coverage, if the at-fault driver has no insurance—could help pay some expenses relating to the accident.
If you or a loved one suffered an injury in a hit and run accident, you may need the services of an experienced Gwinnett County hit and run accident lawyer to obtain all the recovery to which you may be entitled. Call today to set up an initial consultation and discuss your best next move.