A hit-and-run is a serious type of accident that occurs when one party flees the scene of a crash. While a typical collision may involve the two cars stopping and exchanging insurance information, a hit-and-run often leaves the parties unsure about who was at fault. If you have been involved in a hit-and-run, there are steps you can take to protect yourself and help police find the culprit.
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First, notify authorities immediately. This is because the law requires drivers to stop and provide assistance to any injuries or accidents they are involved in. In many cases, the driver will be responsible for the injuries, and they may be liable for the damage to your vehicle. The officer who responds to an accident will speak with everyone on the scene and make initial observations. They will also ask for statements from victims and witnesses. During the investigation, they will collect photographs and evidence of the crash. Using these resources, they will be able to identify who was at fault.
After the police have responded, the officers will begin the process of investigating the hit and run. Some of these steps include collecting evidence and statements, observing the traffic conditions, and checking surveillance cameras in the area. Depending on the case, it can take several days, weeks, or even months to complete the investigation.
One of the most important pieces of evidence that could help police locate the person who was at fault is the vehicle’s license plate. It’s not always possible to obtain the license plate from an eyewitness, and it may be a detail that fades over time. So, it’s always a good idea to write down the license plate number of the car when you have it fresh in your mind.
Next, it’s a good idea to document the damage to your vehicle, the surrounding property, and any other damages. Take photos with your cell phone, and use them in the police report. As an extra precaution, contact the insurance company to see if they have any record of the driver. You can also post requests on local groups on social media.
If the accident has been reported to the police, the investigators will be in touch with the victims and will stay in contact until the case is resolved. They will try to collect as much evidence as they can, including photographs, video footage, and witness statements. During the investigation, they will also make notes of the date and location of the accident.
The length of the investigation is determined by the amount of evidence and the workload of the police department. Typically, minor cases can be resolved within a few days, while more serious ones can take several weeks. Often, the police will be able to locate the perpetrator, and they will file a report with the Department of Motor Vehicles.
Several times during the investigation, the police will try to contact the victim or their insurance company. However, they will be focused on identifying the driver who left the scene.