Even though the law demands you remain at the scene of an accident, exchange information with the other driver and wait for the police if they have been summoned, there are people who take off instead.
Unfortunately, even though the law states those involved in crashes must stop and stay at the scene, there are an increasing number of people who jackrabbit, leaving the other driver wondering how they will recoup from the accident. Generally speaking, there are three possibilities why someone takes off after being involved in an accident: they were DUI, uninsured or unlicensed.
If the driver of the vehicle that took off and left you stranded at the scene is living in the U.S. illegally, there is a good possibility they have no driver’s license. Illegal residents have the ability to buy vehicles at auctions since no one asks for a driver’s license. What usually happens after they have fled the accident is they abandon the car, as it is usually untraceable even if it is recovered.
When it comes to uninsured drivers or those driving while under the influence, these leave a lot more clues as to their whereabouts. While this might be reassuring in terms of catching the culprit, when it comes to uninsured motorists, this will not do you much good. They won’t be able to pay for any damages. You might want to check with your insurer about uninsured motorist coverage, as this will provide compensation for pain and suffering, lost wages, etc. It will also apply to passengers in an accident.
Frankly, in this day and age, it makes a great deal of sense to have as much uninsured motorist coverage as you can afford. Too many things can go wrong when you’re driving and taking the chance that the other driver is also insured is a real risk. Your state may mandate uninsured motorist coverage, so check first before buying auto insurance.
If the driver that hit you was drunk, they may be found and they may also have insurance. Having said that, once again, this is a risk you take if you don’t also have uninsured motorist coverage of your own. If you are able to get the license plate number and a good description of the vehicle, it will help the police look for the culprit. With luck, that driver will be caught and does have insurance.
In cases like this, whether you have uninsured motorist coverage or not, make it a point to speak to an attorney who has extensive experience in dealing with auto accidents. S/he will brief you on how to recover losses if the other driver does have coverage and may be able to assist you in dealing with your insurance company if the driver was uninsured and you are having trouble with your claim.
Robert Webb is an Atlanta personal injury lawyer with Webb & D’Orazio. To learn more about Atlanta personal injury lawyer, Atlanta personal injury, Atlanta business law, Atlanta criminal defense visit, Webbdorazio.com.