Hit and Run Lawyer
Hit-and-run accidents remain prevalent and distressing in our society, leaving victims and their families grappling with the aftermath of such traumatic events. When a driver involved in an accident flees the scene, it not only adds a layer of devastation but also creates a complex legal situation for those seeking justice. In these instances, the importance of legal representation cannot be overstated.
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What Should You Do After A Hit-and-Run?
Philadelphia has just witnessed its highest-recorded number of hit-and-run fatalities. With over 30 tragic incidents of fatal hit-and-runs reported in 2022 alone, according to local police. In these instances, the importance of legal representation cannot be overstated.
Obtaining skilled legal counsel becomes crucial in navigating the intricate legal processes, ensuring the victim's rights are protected, and holding the responsible party accountable. With the expertise and advocacy of a knowledgeable attorney, victims of hit and run accidents can pursue the compensation they deserve, find closure, and work towards rebuilding their lives amidst the tremendous challenges they face.
What Should You Do After A Hit-and-Run?
If you are involved in a hit-and-run accident, taking certain steps to protect yourself and increase the chances of finding the responsible party is important. Here's what you should do:
- Stay at the scene: It is crucial to remain at the scene of the accident, ensuring your safety and the safety of others involved. Do not attempt to chase the fleeing vehicle.
- Call the police: Report the hit-and-run incident to the police as soon as possible. Provide them with accurate information about the incident, including the location, time, and any details you can remember about the fleeing vehicle.
- Seek medical attention: Assess yourself and others for injuries and immediately call for medical assistance. Your well-being and the well-being of others should be the top priority.
- Gather information: If safe, try to gather as much information as possible about the hit-and-run vehicle. Note down the license plate number, make, model, and any other distinguishing features you can recall. Also, collect contact information from any witnesses present at the scene.
- Notify your insurance company: Immediately inform your insurance provider about the hit-and-run incident. Provide them with all the details and follow their instructions regarding filing a claim.
Remember, it is essential to consult with a legal professional experienced in hit-and-run cases to understand your rights, navigate the legal process, and seek appropriate compensation for your damages and injuries.
Seek Medical Attention
For several critical reasons, seeking medical attention is the most important thing to do after a hit-and-run accident. Firstly, your health and well-being should be the top priority, and seeking immediate medical assistance ensures that any injuries are properly assessed and treated, no matter how minor they may initially appear. Some injuries, such as internal trauma or whiplash, may not manifest symptoms immediately, and a medical professional can provide a thorough evaluation to detect any hidden injuries.
Secondly, documenting your injuries through medical records is essential for your well-being and any legal or insurance claims arising from the hit-and-run incident. Prompt medical attention establishes a clear link between the accident and your injuries, making it easier to prove the extent of harm caused by the incident.
Moreover, certain injuries may have long-term consequences or require ongoing treatment and rehabilitation. By seeking medical attention promptly, you increase the chances of a timely diagnosis and appropriate treatment, ultimately aiding your recovery.
Call the Police
Firstly, You are legally required to involve the police within 5 days of a hit-and-run incident, according to section 3747 (a) of the Pennsylvania State Code. Immediately reporting the incident will likely increase the chances of apprehending the responsible party and holding them accountable for their actions.
Secondly, involving the police helps in documenting the hit-and-run incident. They can gather crucial information from you and any witnesses at the scene, including details about the fleeing vehicle, time, location, and other relevant facts. This information becomes valuable in identifying the perpetrator and can aid the investigation process.
Additionally, reporting the hit-and-run to the police is necessary for legal and insurance purposes. It creates an official record of the incident, which can support any legal actions or insurance claims you may pursue later on. The police report is evidence of the hit-and-run and can strengthen your case in seeking compensation for damages or injuries sustained.
Lastly, reporting the hit-and-run to the police contributes to public safety. By alerting law enforcement to the incident, they can take steps to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future and work towards maintaining safer roadways for everyone.
Collecting information promptly helps preserve the accuracy of the event in your memory. Memories can fade over time, and gathering details while they are still fresh in your mind ensures you provide an accurate account of the incident. This information is valuable for both legal proceedings and insurance claims.
Moreover, gathering information from any witnesses present at the scene is crucial. Eyewitness testimonies can provide additional perspectives and corroborate your account of the hit-and-run. Collecting their contact information allows further investigation and potential testimonies in legal proceedings.
Documenting the accident scene through photographs or videos can also be vital evidence. Capture images of your vehicle's damage, debris, skid marks, or other relevant details. These visual records can support your case when filing insurance claims or during legal proceedings.
Notify Your Insurance Company
Most insurance policies require immediate reporting of accidents or incidents, including hit-and-runs. Failing to report the incident within the specified timeframe may jeopardize your ability to file a claim and receive compensation for damages.
Secondly, notifying your insurance company initiates the claims process. They can guide you through the necessary steps to file a claim, provide the required documentation, and explain available coverage. Acting swiftly ensures you get all the important deadlines and requirements for your claim.
Pennsylvania is among the three states that implement a hybrid system known as Choice No-Fault. Within this system, Pennsylvania drivers are required to select either limited tort (no-fault) or full tort (at-fault) coverage when purchasing insurance. Opting for full tort coverage comes at a higher cost, but it grants injured victims greater avenues for compensation following an accident. In the event of an accident, both the state and the insurance company respect the driver's previously chosen coverage option.
Moreover, informing your insurance company allows them to conduct their investigation and potentially assist in identifying the responsible party. They may have resources available, such as access to surveillance footage or cooperation with law enforcement, to help in the investigation. This collaboration can increase the chances of locating the perpetrator and recovering damages.
What Are The Consequences of A Hit-and-Run?
Hit-and-run incidents have serious legal consequences, including criminal charges such as hit-and-run, reckless driving, or even vehicular manslaughter. Fleeing the scene is a crime as it constitutes a failure to take appropriate action after an incident occurs, according to Pennsylvania State Code Section 3744 Title 75. Penalties may include fines, license suspension, probation, and potential imprisonment. The responsible driver can also face civil lawsuits, leading to financial liabilities for medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, etc. Insurance premiums may increase, licenses can be suspended or revoked, and a hit-and-run conviction can result in a criminal record affecting employment and other aspects of life.
Is there a Statute of Limitations for Car Accidents in Pennsylvania?
In Pennsylvania, hit-and-run incidents fall under car accident claims, thus they are subject to a two-year statute of limitations. This means you have a two-year window from the accident date to file a claim.
Acting promptly and contacting a hit-and-run attorney about your potential claim is crucial, as preparing a hit-and-run case can be time-consuming. It is important to initiate the process quickly to ensure that all necessary steps are taken in a timely manner.
How Can a Lawyer Help with a Philadelphia Hit and Run?
A lawyer can provide valuable assistance if you have been involved in a hit-and-run incident in Philadelphia. Here's how they can help:
Legal Guidance: A knowledgeable lawyer can guide you through the legal process and explain your rights and options. They can help you understand the relevant laws in Philadelphia and how they apply to your specific case.
Investigation: Lawyers have the resources and expertise to investigate the hit-and-run incident thoroughly. They can gather evidence, interview witnesses, review surveillance footage, and work with law enforcement to identify the responsible party.
Negotiating: A lawyer should be dedicated to seeking justice on your behalf. They will work tirelessly to hold the responsible party accountable for their actions, ensuring you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries, property damage, medical expenses, and other losses.
Compensation: Dealing with insurance companies can be complex and overwhelming. A lawyer can handle communication with the insurance company on your behalf, ensuring that your rights are protected and maximizing your chances of receiving fair compensation for your damages.
Legal Representation: A lawyer can provide strong legal representation if the hit-and-run case goes to court. They will build a solid case, present evidence, cross-examine witnesses, and advocate for your rights and interests in the courtroom.
Listening to your case: Hit-and Run cases can take their toll emotionally. When working closely together to build a strong case, the trust and confidence built between the client and lawyer can have a soothing effect.
When Should You Contact a Lawyer After an Auto Accident?
Contacting a lawyer after a hit-and-run is recommended as soon as possible. The timeline of an auto accident settlement can be difficult to understand due to the complex nature of the legal system, investigations, and potential rehabilitation. Contacting a lawyer immediately is crucial to help ease the burden and ensure you have the best chance of being compensated fairly. A hit-and-run lawyer can help protect your rights, navigate the legal process, and ensure you receive the appropriate medical treatment and compensation for your injuries.
Frequently Asked Questions about Hit-and-Runs in Philadelphia
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How Much Does it Cost to Hire A Hit-and-Run Lawyer?
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