Under Georgia law, O.C.G.A. 40-6-270, drivers involved in motor vehicle accidents must stay at the scene of the accident or return to it once they are able to stop. When a driver disregards this law, the accident is considered a hit and run in Columbus, Georgia.
A driver may flee the scene for various reasons. He or she may not have insurance or a license, or he or she may be intoxicated or afraid of having legal issues. Regardless, hitting another vehicle and failing to take responsibility for that action is unconscionable, and when you are a victim of a hit and run, you are entitled to your applicable insurance benefits.
The auto accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Gary Bruce believe you should not have to fight to recover damages, and we know how to deal with insurance companies to make sure you get the funds you need. The following are some steps you can take to set yourself up for a successful recovery.
Seek Medical Attention
Your first priority should be your safety and well-being. If you are seriously injured, call 911. If your injuries are less severe, you should seek a medical evaluation as soon as possible after the accident. Your medical evaluation serves as documentation of any injury or symptoms of potential delayed-onset injuries. Postponing this important step could negatively impact your health and your auto accident case.
Document the Scene
You want to preserve a record of the event, so that you can effectively explain and prove how your injuries or property damage occurred. This step is important for both for the police report and your insurance company.
If you are able, take pictures of your vehicle’s location, any skid marks on the road that resulted from the accident, and the damage to your vehicle. Insurance companies sometimes try to argue that injuries or damage you sustain in an accident was caused by an event before or after an accident, so timestamped pictures can be quite valuable.
In addition to taking pictures, make note of everything you remember about the driver and his or her vehicle. If there are witnesses, ask for their contact information and their version of events.
Report the Accident
After any motor vehicle accident, it is best to consult an experienced attorney in order to secure maximum compensation. Our attorneys can help you effectively report the accident to law enforcement and your insurance company.
File a Police Report
Your insurance company will likely require a police report to process your claim. It is imperative that you do not admit fault when giving your statement. Our attorneys can help you file a police report if police do not come to the scene.
File a Claim
If the hit and run driver is located, you will file a claim with his or her insurance company. You also want to report the accident to your insurance company, even if the at-fault driver is identified. He or she may not have insurance or may be underinsured, so you may need to rely partially on your personal coverage. If the at-fault driver is not found, you will need to call your insurance company to make a claim on your coverage.
While you shouldn’t have to fight for the compensation you are owed, unfortunately, insurance companies often try to lowball drivers or deny benefits. That is where our dedicated team can help. We can build your case and handle negotiations to secure a fair settlement.
Call Us to Schedule a Hit and Run Accident Consultation
One of our attorneys will review your case for free to determine how we can help you recover damages after a hit and run accident or other motor vehicle accident. Call us at 706-596-1446 to schedule your no-cost consultation. We serve clients in Phenix City, Alabama, Fort Benning and Columbus, Georgia, and the nearby areas.