Gary talks about hit & run accidents and the best way to handle one if it happens to you. Even if you do not know who hit you, you may still be able to receive coverage. Learn more on this week’s segment of Legal Break, or check out our frequently asked Auto Accident questions.
Also see Gary’s new Legal Break segment on Hit & Run Victims.
Maureen: Hello there and welcome to legal break I’m Maureen Akers and with me today Gary Bruce of the Law Offices of Gary Bruce right here in Columbus.
Gary: Good to be here again, thank you.
Maureen: Yeah always every Wednesday we enjoyed having you here and talking about legal issues. So we’ve seen a lot of stories about hit and run accidents in the news, tell us a little bit about what’s happened with some of these cases.
Gary: Well we continue to see these stories, it’s very concerning. Some involve pedestrians, some don’t, I see it a lot in my practice. But what do you got to remember is this; you have a duty to stay. So you can only assume the worst when you leave. Look what else can you assume but that maybe there’s a reason you left. We’ve heard someone recently say “well I was confused about what was going on.”
I would recommend if you have any kind of incident, whether it’s pedestrian or a car, that you do stay and document it. If you do need to leave and everybody agrees its okay to leave without calling the police, maybe take a video. You know then nobody can say “well he just ran off.” Put your camera up at the other person and say look just tell me on video it’s okay for me to go, we’ve exchanged information. I guess that’s okay but I would recommend though having the police come and document everything, right.
But you know these things happen and what we need to make sure we do is watch out in crosswalks. Pedestrians have ultimate right to use a crosswalk so you have to be aware there. Make sure you know what’s going on around you, unfortunately, I see it with children sometimes. So if you know it’s congested at a school area or there’s a bus and there are kids around, slow down because you’re on notice at that point. And that’s what a lot of the laws about, “do I know or should I know there’s a problem, or a potential problem ahead of me?” I need to back up and take care of that and not ignore it, or not be texting.
Maureen: Right, and that’s the scary part on either side. If you’re the driver then you need to pay attention all the time, that’s what you have to do. If you’re the person walking, sometimes you almost have to take the mindset of assuming that everybody’s not paying attention.
Gary: Well absolutely. Sometimes I ride a bike and it’s scary, walking can be scary. We need to be alert and aware. You know texting goes both ways, my problem with the texting laws has been that it’s all kinds of inattention that leads to problems. Don’t think it’s just about texting, right it’s so many things. You could be reading a paper or thinking about your birthday party, you know. But we’ve got to pay attention when we’re driving these big vehicles.
Maureen: We do, we do. Criminal or civil cases?
Gary: Both, there are criminal implications and then there’s the civil. Even if you don’t know who the person was who hit you and caused harm, if you have uninsured motorist coverage it can be applicable.
Maureen: Oh very good so for more information get in touch with Gary. Thank you so much for joining us today we look forward to seeing you on the very next legal break.