Did you know that hit and runs are increasing at an alarming rate? Unfortunately, it’s a more common problem than you might anticipate. If you were involved in a hit and run incident, it can feel overwhelming, and you’re likely wondering what the next steps are.
This guide will go over the benefits of hiring a hit and run attorney, and what the process might look like. That way, you’ll feel informed enough to make the right decision.
Ready to learn more? Let’s get started!
Hit And Runs in Louisiana
Louisiana defines a hit and run accident as a crash where the driver liable for an accident does not stop to exchange personal information with the other driver.
As far as Louisiana laws go, they state that the at-fault driver is completely liable in a hit and run accident. The consequences can be severe.
The driver responsible for the crash that only results in property damage will be fined a maximum of $500. They can also face up to six months in jail.
If any injuries or fatalities occur, the driver will be fined up to $5,000 and can face up to 10 years in jail time.
What to Do After a Hit-And-Run
Being involved in a hit and run can put your body in shock, so it’s important to stay calm. You’ll want to move your car to a safe area, even if the driver doesn’t stop driving.
Now that you’re stopped, assess the situation. If you or any passengers need medical aid, then call 911 immediately. If there are no injuries, there are still some steps you should take.
Call the Police
Even if your car is not damaged, you need to call the police directly after a hit and run. If a driver fled the scene of the accident, that is illegal in Louisiana, and the police will investigate it as a crime.
Get ready for the officer to ask you a variety of questions and if you can recall any information about the vehicle that hit you. They’ll also create a police report, which will not only help with insurance but can be used as evidence by a hit and run attorney in Baton Rouge.
Take Plenty of Photos
Don’t leave the scene of the accident without taking photos of everything. This doesn’t only include photos of your vehicle’s damage, it also means any street signs and the location. These photos will be helpful when dealing with insurance.
It’s also helpful to talk to any witnesses and take down their contact information. This can all be used as evidence if legal action is taken.
Talk to a Lawyer
Speaking of legal action, you’ll need to decide if you need a hit and run defense attorney. Even if you feel like the incident is mild, it’s always good to call a lawyer to at least get an idea of what to expect. There are a lot of different factors involved that can cause you a lot of stress if you’re handling it yourself.
For example, there may be a circumstance beyond your control that prevents you from filing in a timely manner. It can take the police multiple years to track the culprit that caused the hit and run accident. You shouldn’t face the consequences because the driver evaded the police.
There are a lot of circumstances involved, and if there are any additional complications, like an injury, the last thing you want to deal with is paperwork while you’re healing. Instead, you can let an experienced attorney handle all of the legal complexities.
File an Insurance Claim
Another step that you should take, ideally after talking to an attorney, is contacting your insurance company and letting them know about the hit and run. The agent will walk you through the claim process and explain what your policy will cover.
Make sure you or your lawyer have the evidence necessary to expedite the process. This includes the police report and photos of the damage.
Does Insurance Cover a Hit-And-Run?
Car insurance covers a hit and run if you have the right policy. If you have a minimum coverage policy, it might not cover a hit and run. Any insurance plan with a full coverage policy is sure to cover all of your expenses, including the vehicle’s damages and medical payments for everyone involved.
Louisiana doesn’t require drivers to carry uninsured motorist coverage, but this optional policy does cover hit and runs.
Do I Need a Lawyer?
At the end of the day, you decide if hiring a lawyer is necessary. The reality is that most car accidents, even if there is little damage, benefits from talking to an attorney.
If someone is injured or if the damage is excessive, hiring a hit and run accident attorney is sure to save you a significant amount of stress.
Hiring a Hit and Run Attorney After an Accident
Being involved in a car accident is stressful for every party involved. Things can get complicated if you are injured by a hit and run driver. You are entitled to compensation for these injuries.
Dealing with it on your own is a huge headache. The driver who fled the scene needs to get caught, and even when they are located, several obstacles stand in the way. That’s why knowing the benefits of hiring a hit and run attorney can help you feel prepared to look at all your options following the accident.
Looking for a criminal defense lawyer in Baton Rouge? Look no further than Attorney Carl Barkemeyer. Be sure to check out our website and schedule a consultation today!