Georgia Personal Injury Trial Attorneys

Filing a Personal Injury Claim for a Hit-and-Run Accident

By: Fry | Goehring

hit-and-run in atlanta

Being involved in a car crash can be an incredibly traumatic experience, but even more so when the other driver flees the scene. It adds layers of trauma, confusion, stress, and uncertainty to an already complex and frustrating situation.

After hit-and-run accidents, innocent, hardworking individuals find themselves grappling with not just the physical and emotional toll but also the financial strain of dealing with the aftermath of such crashes. A hit-and-run makes any auto accident worse, especially when victims suffer severe injuries, or there’s significant property damage. Additionally, victims and their families could face further challenges when seeking compensation for damages.

Fortunately, even if the other driver is not identified, victims have legal options to pursue justice and potential compensation. The Atlanta hit-and-run lawyers at Fry | Goehring offer top-notch legal representation if you or your loved ones were the victims of a hit-and-run.

Understanding Hit-and-Run Accidents in Atlanta

Understanding hit-and-run accidents involves grasping the distinct circumstances surrounding these incidents and their profound impact on those affected. Unlike typical accidents where parties exchange information and assess damages, hit-and-run accidents occur when one party in the collision flees the scene without stopping to provide aid or exchange contact details.

What Is a Hit-And-Run Accident?

A hit-and-run crash occurs when a motorist hits a vehicle, pedestrian, or property and then flees the scene without stopping to provide aid or exchange contact and insurance information. These incidents encompass various scenarios, including but not limited to the following:

  • A driver hitting a parked car and fleeing the scene
  • Striking a pedestrian or cyclist and driving away
  • Causing a collision with another vehicle and fleeing

Georgia Legal Penalties for Hit-And-Run Motorists

The intentional failure of a driver who causes or is involved in an accident to stop at the accident scene, exchange information, and render reasonable aid is illegal in Georgia. The state has strict laws to ensure that drivers who flee the scene of an accident face severe consequences. Below are examples of potential legal penalties for fleeing the scene of an accident in Georgia:

  • Misdemeanor hit-and-run. In cases where only property damage occurs, leaving the scene without providing information or assistance is deemed a misdemeanor. Penalties may include fines, suspension of driver’s license, and potential imprisonment for up to 12 months.
  • Felony hit-and-run. Accidents involving injuries or wrongful deaths lead to felony charges. Such incidents are classified as felony offenses in Georgia, with penalties including substantial fines, prolonged driver’s license suspension or revocation, and imprisonment for several years, depending on the severity of injuries or fatalities.
  • Driver’s license points. Hit-and-run convictions typically accumulate points on the driver’s license. These points can escalate insurance premiums, potentially leading to license suspension or revocation.
  • Civil penalties. Beyond criminal consequences, hit-and-run drivers may face civil liability for damages caused. Victims can seek compensation through civil lawsuits covering medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, and emotional distress.
  • Good Samaritan law. Georgia’s Good Samaritan law shields individuals providing aid at accident scenes from legal repercussions. It encourages assisting injured individuals without fear of legal consequences.

Immediate Steps To Take After a Hit-And-Run Accident

Below are the immediate actions you should take after a hit-and-run in Atlanta:

Prioritize Your Safety

Begin by assessing yourself and others for any injuries. If injuries are present, promptly contact emergency services for assistance. Even seemingly minor injuries warrant medical attention without delay.

Report the Crash to the Police

Call the police and report the hit-and-run accident immediately. Provide the police with as much information about the crash as possible, including a description of the fleeing vehicle and its direction.

Remain at the Scene

It is imperative to stay at the accident scene. Leaving could complicate legal proceedings and be misconstrued as an admission of fault. Stay composed and wait for the arrival of law enforcement.

Document the Incident

Gather comprehensive information about the accident scene. Capture photographs of your vehicle’s damage, injuries, and the surrounding environment. If witnesses are present, obtain their contact details.

Call a Car Accident Lawyer

Seek guidance from a reputable Fry | Goehring attorney experienced in hit-and-run cases in Atlanta. The attorney can assist in navigating the legal process, guaranteeing the protection of your rights, and pursuing compensation for incurred damages.

Reporting the Accident: Essential Procedures

Reporting the accident is a crucial step in safeguarding the rights of those involved and ensuring they can recover fair compensation for their losses. By promptly reporting your hit-and-run accident, you take proactive measures to protect yourself legally and increase your chances of receiving justice and fair compensation.

Here are the essential procedures for reporting an accident:

  • Remain at the scene: Remain at the accident scene until law enforcement arrives, except in cases where immediate medical attention is required. Prematurely leaving the scene can have legal consequences and may impede the investigation.
  • Cooperate with authorities: Upon law enforcement’s arrival, cooperate with officers. To aid their investigation, give accurate details about the hit-and-run in Atlanta. Be prepared to answer questions or provide relevant documentation.

When you report the accident, you establish an official record of events, supporting your version and enhancing the validity of your claim.

Gathering Evidence for Your Claim

Evidence is crucial for building a strong claim after a hit-and-run in Atlanta. Below are examples of critical evidence to gather after a hit-and-run:

  • Photos. Capture the accident scene, including vehicles involved, visible damage, skid marks, and road conditions. Document injuries sustained and secure medical records to substantiate the accident’s impact.
  • Witness statements. Gather statements from witnesses to corroborate your account, enhancing the validity of your claim. Make sure you obtain contact details for further investigation if needed.
  • Police reports. Obtain a copy of the police report after the crash. The report will likely contain vital details, including statements from involved parties and law enforcement observations.
  • Surveillance footage. Request surveillance footage from nearby establishments or traffic cameras if the accident occurred in a monitored area. The footage can provide irrefutable evidence of the accident and the fleeing vehicle.
  • Vehicle damage assessment. Assess and document the extent of vehicle damage to showcase the accident’s severity. Obtain repair estimates from reputable auto repair shops to strengthen your case.
  • Medical records. Gather detailed medical records outlining injuries sustained due to the hit-and-run accident in Atlanta. Hospital records, diagnostic tests, and treatment plans serve as compelling evidence of physical harm and associated medical expenses.

Seek Justice After a Hit-And-Run Accident With Fry | Goehring

You don’t need to face the complex and traumatic aftermath of a hit-and-run accident in Atlanta alone. Trust the skilled hit-and-run accident attorneys at Fry | Goehring to passionately advocate for your rights. We’re dedicated to providing unwavering support and guidance, ensuring you and your family get the justice and recovery you rightfully deserve. Call Fry | Goehring today at 404-969-1284 to schedule a free consultation with our legal team.