A car accident can cause injuries and damages that uproot someone’s life. Some injuries require hospital visits and may keep people from working. While most car accidents end with both parties working together to settle the matter, some end up being more difficult. A person may not know they’ve hit someone or flee the scene immediately. Hit-and-run accidents tend to be more stressful because the person waiting to settle the matter is waiting for the guilty party to be found.
If you’ve been involved in a hit-and-run accident, you may be able to seek legal options. A Milwaukee hit-and-run accident lawyer from Urban & Taylor will work tirelessly to get you the compensation you need so you can start your recovery. We’re determined to give you the peace of mind that skilled people are on your side and fighting for your rights.
What Makes a Car Accident a Hit-and-Run?
After the initial car accident, usually both parties get out of their cars so they can exchange information like names, contact information, and insurance policies. The guilty party could even admit their fault right after the accident occurs. Wisconsin drivers are required to stop in any car accident situation that resulted in injury or property damage. But some people may refuse to stop after the accident and try to get away. Once one party leaves the scene of the accident, they commit a hit-and-run.
The severity of the crash determines the consequences for the guilty party. If the accident caused a minimal amount of injuries or no injuries at all, they could be charged with a misdemeanor and given fines. Hit-and-run accidents that cause major injuries or a fatality means the person could be charged with a felony and given heavy fines.
What Should I Do After a Hit-and-Run?
When you’re involved in a hit-and-run, it’s important to stay calm. If you or anyone else needs immediate medical assistance, call an ambulance immediately. If you can move, try to get the car out of the road so you’re not blocking traffic.
- Call the Police. Once you’re safely out of traffic, call the police so they can investigate the scene. Try to remember everything you can about the driver that hit you and the car they were driving. If you got a glimpse of what they looked like, the car’s make and model, and the license plate could help the police track the person down. If the accident occurred in a parking lot or a place where there were surveillance cameras, the police may be able to use them to find the guilty party and you’ll have visual evidence that you weren’t at fault.
- Gather Evidence. Without the responsible party at the scene, it’s vital for you to preserve evidence of the accident to show you weren’t at fault. Taking photographs of the accident and injuries will show how the other person’s negligence affected you. Writing down the events of the accident while the memory is still fresh in your mind could help you later. If you find any eyewitnesses to the accident, get their information if they’re willing to make a statement.
- Stay Off Social Media. It’s common for people to post about their lives on their social media, but anything that has to do with a legal case should be left off the internet. If you post about the hit-and-run, your words can be used against you. This may result in less compensation for your injuries or property damage. You can discuss this with your lawyer if you have any further questions.
What If the Driver is Uninsured?
In Wisconsin, all drivers must have insurance that covers uninsured drivers. Your insurance will cover your expenses if an uninsured driver causes your injuries. The same thing happens in the event of a hit-and-run accident.
Lack of insurance is a main reason for drivers to commit a hit-and-run—they’re scared that they’ve caused an accident and decide to flee the scene. However, in Wisconsin, the person who committed the hit-and-run can report themselves within 24 hours of the accident and possibly not face criminal charges.
A hit-and-run accident can be an emotionally taxing and overwhelming experience to go through alone. But you don’t have to. Hiring a lawyer can make the aftermath more manageable, and an experienced attorney will help you through every step of the claim-filing process. They’ll explain the process, answer any of your questions, and be the ones who deal with insurance adjusters or anyone else looking for an official statement. Your best interest is put first when you have a lawyer on your side.