A hit and run are defined as a traffic accident in which a driver has left the scene of the incident without fulfilling any legal duties as they should being a participant in the collision.
In the event of any hit and run incident, police are mandated to investigate. This is so even if the damage to the vehicles is minor. Many US states classify the criminal penalties for a hit and run as either felonies or misdemeanors, depending on the circumstances, regardless of the severity as it is still viewed as fleeing the scene of the incident.
It should also be noted that in most states, it does not matter whether or not you caused the accident, the act of a hit and run (minor or otherwise) is committed by leaving the scene of the incident. As such, if you must leave the scene of an accident to access emergency assistance - then this is not considered so, so long as you return to the scene immediately afterward.
However, if you leave the scene and do not return, then this is classified as a hit and run and is therefore viewed as an offense.
If you have been involved in a hit-and-run case, then you will likely want to know the amount of time it takes to settle a case. Unfortunately, there is no set time that a hit-and-run case of any severity takes to be resolved. Most hit and run claims are handled as Uninsured Motorist Claims through insurance carriers, not through the legal system. It is always best to consult with a qualified legal expert who is experienced in handling uninsured motorist claims.
What to Do If You're Involved in a Hit and Run
If your car has been damaged, even if it is a minor incident, ensure police come to the scene and document the incident.
Speaking to the police can help to find the person who fled the scene of the accident. You should also take pictures of the scene, damages, injuries, and if you can the perpetrator’s license plate. Upon leaving the scene, contact an injury lawyer experienced in hit and run matter to ensure your rights are protected.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a hit and run accident, call Panio Law Offices at 312-668-7933 today for a free consultation.