One of the first steps you take after a car accident is to call emergency services. The police will arrive and take your statement. You will then hire a Philadelphia car accident attorney and file a claim. While this is how easy the process should be, it is not when it comes to hit and run accidents. A recent news investigation found that police are not thoroughly investigating hit and run accidents in Philadelphia. The failure to investigate has led to many hit-and-run victims paying for medical bills and property damage out of pocket.
No matter how minor the damage is, hitting a car and driving away is a crime. The police department and city council are now investigating how to ramp up their efforts to solve hit and run accidents so Philly residents no longer have the same problems. However, there is another way to have your case investigated. Contact a Philadelphia hit and run accident attorney; the negligent party or parties will be held responsible for your hit and run accident injuries and damage.
At-fault insurance company
The at-fault driver's insurance company pays nearly all accident injuries and damages. The case is the same during a hit-and-run accident. However, the insurance company can only hold the driver liable if they are found. The key in a hit-and-run accident is to gather as much information about the getaway driver. If the driver gets away, then the process is more complex. When the driver is found, especially within the same day, evidence can show other factors at play, such as a product defect or intoxication.
Legal Consequences for a hit and run driver
While leaving the scene of a Philly accident where the vehicle did not have occupants can result in fines, other types of hit and run accidents have steeper penalties. A Philadelphia driver who leaves the scene of an accident faces the following charges when caught:
- Misdemeanor when there are no injuries
- A third-degree felony for serious injuries
- Second-degree felony when a death results
Each of the above charges results in fines and jail time for drivers. The penalties will increase significantly when the driver is intoxicated with drugs or alcohol. While criminal penalties help hold the driver accountable, it does not compensate injury victims for their losses. You will need to start a personal injury claim with the help of a Philadelphia hit and run accident attorney.
Your insurance company
You will have fewer options when the police cannot locate the hit-and-run driver. Your first option is to file a claim with your insurance company. Even if you are a pedestrian injured by a hit-and-run driver, you have the chance to file a claim with your insurance company. However, the insurance policy must have specific provisions. Your insurance policy must have underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage or med pay.
How are hit and run drivers held liable?
Determining liability in a hit-and-run accident is essential for the success of your case. Once caught, a hit and run driver will face the criminal charges mentioned in the section above. They will also have to face the victims' personal injury lawsuits. While the claim is handled through the insurance, the driver will face higher insurance costs and can even lose their ability to purchase insurance in Philadelphia. Without insurance, the driver is unable to continue to drive.
Call Kwartler Manus LLC
After a hit-and-run accident, gathering as much information as possible is essential. If any witnesses are present, get their contact information as they may not want to wait for the police to arrive. The victims of a hit-and-run accident suffer the most damage. After an accident, take a photo of the license plate on the other vehicle. While you do not expect them to run off, they can, and without the plate number, it will become challenging to find them and hold them accountable for their negligent actions. A hit and run accident has specific challenges, such as proving to the insurance company that you cannot find the driver, they were at fault, and you suffered a loss as a result. Kwartler Manus, LLC is here to help after a hit and run accident. Call us at (267) 214-8608 or fill out the contact form.