This summer, the Duluth Police Department experienced a hit and run case wherein the driver at fault left the scene, leaving one of their officers injured. Following this incident, the Duluth Police department has reported a 54% increase in hit and run cases in the city during the year.
This increase has been consistent over the past months since January, as compared to the previous year. The most common site of such incidents has been identified as Peachtree Industrial Boulevard.
The incident injuring the Duluth police officer also occurred at the same place, at the intersection of Abbots Bridge Road and Peachtree Industrial Boulevard. The most common types of collisions occurring here have been vehicle-on-vehicle.
What is a hit and run case?
Technology continues to make cars safer, but road safety depends on a variety of factors. The rate of hit and run deaths has been increasing 7.2% each year since 2009. However, hit and run accidents can occur regardless of whether the vehicles are occupied or unoccupied.
A hit and run is a type of accident where a vehicle hits another vehicle, driver, object, or person knowingly, and flees from the scene without providing any information.
Most states in the U.S. consider an incident a “hit and run” even if it does not occur on a highway or motorway. According to the statistics of Allstate reports in 2010, it was revealed that 69% of hit and run cases involved parked vehicles.
Legal consequences of hit and run
Hit and run is a serious crime in Georgia. Anyone convicted of a hit and run accident in Georgia is expected to face harsher penalties and consequences than a DUI. Therefore, if you or any of your loved ones have been the victim of a hit-and-run, you should act immediately and call Lamar Law Office to determine next steps.
Legal consequences for hit and run can include the driver facing a misdemeanor charge for a hit and run case, as long as no one involved has suffered any serious or fatal injuries. These fines range between $300 to $1000.
There is also a fair chance of facing imprisonment for up to 12 months. Moreover, the active driver’s license of the perpetrator may also incur a stay, probation, or suspension. Finally, drivers leaving a hit and run accident scene that resulted in any serious or fatal injuries may face felony charges and imprisonment between 1 to 5 years.
The victim or their family will also pursue legal action if the driver is caught. It is imperative to know your rights and have a good car accident attorney understand what to do after you’re the victim of a hit and run accident in Georgia.
What to do if you’re the victim of a hit and run
If you have been involved in a hit and run accident, and the driver of the other vehicle flees from the scene, here are some of the steps you must follow.
1. Stay at the Scene
The law expects the victim to stay at the accident scene, so do not leave the accident scene for any reason, like chasing the other driver or detaining them. The outcome of such actions is unpredictable and may be dangerous.
2. Call the Police
Your first step while staying at the accident site should be calling up the police as soon as you can, since reports of such incidents are crucial. They are required for both locating the driver at fault and for your insurance claim.
The sooner the police are informed about the incident, the sooner tracking of the fleeing driver can begin. This increases the chance that they are caught.
3. Get Notes, Photos, and Witnesses
Get ready to provide as much information as possible to the police. Begin to make notes of the accident and click some pictures of the scene, particularly any damage to your vehicle.
In an ideal situation, you should give the police the license plate number of the driver at fault, but if you cannot, describe the driver and their vehicle in as much detail as possible. Note the make, model, and color of the vehicle.
Note the time the hit and run accident happened and which direction the other vehicles headed towards. If the incident was witnessed by anyone else, ask them to stay as well to narrate it to the police. If they cannot stay, at the very least, ask for their contact information.
4. Call Your Attorney
The next action you must take is to call Lamar Law Office. The caring staff at our office will let you know the exact steps to take when it comes to notifying your insurance company and more.
5. Take a Medical Examination
If possible, get medical attention soon after the accident, even if you feel like you haven’t been hurt. Medical records can link the accident and any injuries you may have sustained, making you a better legal case if the other driver is found.
6. Get the Police Report
Ask your officer about the report once you and all the witnesses have spoken to the police. Note the names and badge numbers of all officers present at the accident scene. This will ease your process of obtaining a report once it is complete.
7. Hit and Run Insurance Coverage
Whether or not you can receive compensation for the damages largely depends on your insurance coverage type. In some cases, you can claim the liability insurance of the driver at fault if they are found. Hit and runs complicate the insurance claims process. To get immediate assistance, contact Lamar Law Office by filling out our form for your Free Case Evaluation below.