It is illegal for a driver to leave the scene of an auto accident. And yet, hit-and-run accidents occur all too frequently.
In fact, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that, according to the most recent data, hit-and-run accidents have increased in the last few years, with fatalities reaching an all-time high in 2016.
Pedestrians and cyclists face the highest risk of injury and death in a hit-and-run accident, though anyone on the road is at risk when they share the road with reckless drivers. No matter the situation, a hit-and-run accident can be frightening. And many people might wonder: can they get the compensation they deserve if the reckless driver responsible for the accident flees?
There are generally two ways to get compensation after a hit-and-run
Georgia is not a no-fault accident state. This means that individuals injured in a car accident must prove the other party was at-fault, which can make hit-and-run accidents even more challenging.
This often leaves Georgians with two options:
- They can work with the police to find the driver and hold them accountable for the accident; or
- They can cover their medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and perhaps other damages through uninsured motorist coverage.
Under Georgia law, insurance companies must offer uninsured motorist coverage. The only way individuals would not have this type of coverage is if they reject it in writing to their insurance company. Therefore, most people have this coverage.
How can you find the driver responsible for the accident?
Unfortunately, finding the driver involved in a hit-and-run is no easy task. Many of these accidents go unsolved. This does not prevent individuals from obtaining compensation, as we mentioned previously.
However, if individuals wish to find the reckless driver responsible for their injuries, it is helpful to gather information. For example, after a hit-and-run accident, it is critical to:
- Record everything one can remember about the crash;
- Speak to witnesses of the accident and collect statements; and
- Review video evidence on a dashboard camera or nearby traffic camera.
Individuals involved in a hit-and-run should always file a report with the police as well. A hit-and-run accident is a crime, and the police will gather all of this information to find the driver responsible for the accident and hold them accountable.