Steps to Take After a Pennsylvania Hit-And-Run Accident

car damaged in an accident

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), an estimated 115,000 road accidents occurred in 2022. While some drivers remained on the scene after the accidents, others chose to flee, resulting in hit-and-runs. Unfortunately, these crashes often cause severe injuries, financial losses, or even death to those involved.

For victims of hit-and-run accidents and their loved ones, knowing what to do to hold the offender accountable can be challenging. The good news is that working with a Pennsylvania-based personal injury attorney can help make the process easier to navigate. But first, you must understand the steps to take after the crash to boost your chances of a successful outcome.

What to Do After a Hit-And-Run Accident in Pennsylvania

The minutes after a hit-and-run accident can be overwhelming and filled with adrenaline. However, it is advisable to remain calm and take the appropriate steps to protect your rights. Prioritize your safety and that of others involved. It helps to stop the car in a safe location and assess the injuries. If you or anyone has sustained severe injuries, promptly call for medical assistance. 

Once you have ensured everyone’s safety, gather as much information as possible about the incident. Ideally, you can use your phone to take photos and videos of the scene and capture details of the fleeing vehicle, including its color, make, model, and license plate number. If any eyewitnesses are around, request their contact details and a brief account of what they saw. This information can be valuable later during the investigation. 

After gathering the necessary details, contact the police to report the incident. An officer will likely show up to further investigate the situation and file a report. When talking to the police, provide them with all the information you collected, including witness statements. A police report is vital as it is the official documentation of the accident.

Perhaps the most significant yet demanding step after a hit-and-run accident in Pennsylvania is contacting your insurance provider. The best thing is to report the incident immediately and even provide the insurer with a copy of the police report. While you can expect your insurance company to work hard to protect you, remember their main goal is their financial interests. That is why consulting a skilled personal injury lawyer in Pennsylvania is highly recommended before filing a claim. 

How to Handle Social Media After a Car Accident

In the age of social media, it is tempting to share every aspect of our lives online, including unfortunate incidents like hit-and-run accidents. Even so, exercise caution when posting about such events. Avoid uploading pictures or videos of the accident scene on your social media accounts. This is evidence you should only share with your lawyer.

In fact, it may be wise to consider pausing your online activities until the case is resolved. Also, do not post negative comments about the offender or mention them in any way. Steer clear of debates with other commentators online. Insurance companies and the other party’s attorneys may try to twist your words and use them against you, undermining your claim. 

Seeking Legal Assistance After a Pennsylvania Hit-And-Run

Handling a hit-and-run accident in Pennsylvania can be difficult. For that reason, you may want to consult a knowledgeable hit-and-run accident attorney. These lawyers deeply understand Pennsylvania’s traffic laws. An attorney will assess the details of your case and advise you on the best course of action. They will help gather evidence, such as police reports, witness statements, and any available surveillance footage, to support your claim.

In addition, they will handle all communication with insurance companies and negotiate on your behalf to ensure you receive fair compensation for your injuries and losses. In case you fail to reach a fair settlement with the insurance company, your attorney can guide you through filing a lawsuit. They will prepare all necessary legal documents, represent you in court, and argue on your behalf. 

When seeking legal assistance, choose an attorney with a strong track record in hit-and-run accident cases. They should also have the necessary credentials and be licensed to operate in Pennsylvania. A skilled and licensed attorney has a better chance of securing maximum compensation. You can find an excellent attorney by researching online or asking for recommendations from people with similar past experiences.

Damages You May Be Able to Recover From a Hit-And-Run Accident

You may be able to recover various damages from a hit-and-run accident in Pennsylvania, the most common being medical expenses. This includes the costs of emergency medical treatment, hospitalization, surgeries, medication, rehabilitation, physical therapy, and other necessary medical services. To maximize your claim, keep thorough records of all medical bills, invoices, and receipts. 

If your vehicle or any other personal property was damaged in the accident, you can seek compensation for property damage. You may recover money to repair or replace your car or any other valuables lost. The insurance company may need evidence, like photographs and repair receipts, to calculate the amount to compensate you for the damaged properties.

A hit-and-run accident can result in long-term injuries, affecting your ability to work and earn an income. If this happens, you may be able to recover damages for lost wages. Therefore, keep records of your missed work days, pay stubs, and any documentation from your employer, as you will need them to substantiate your claim.

In rare cases, punitive damages may be awarded in hit-and-run accidents. These damages serve as a form of punishment for the responsible party, particularly if their actions were intentional or reckless. However, obtaining punitive damages can be challenging. You must prove the at-fault driver’s conduct was not only negligent but also exhibited a conscious disregard for the safety of others.

Also, if the runaway driver is never found, you may be able to claim under provisions of your own automobile insurance policy if you followed the above guidance and a police report was created.

Get in Touch with a Talented Hit-And-Run Accident Lawyer at RGSG in Pennsylvania

Navigating the legal complexities of a hit-and-run accident can be overwhelming, but you do not have to face it alone. If you have been a victim of these accidents in Pennsylvania, our attorneys at Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford, P.C., can help.

With over 65 years of experience, we are well-versed in Pennsylvania’s hit-and-run accident laws. From collecting evidence that strengthens your case to negotiating with insurance companies and advocating for your rights, we will provide you with the guidance and support you need. Call us today at (215) 822-7575 to discuss your case or fill out our contact form to arrange a free consultation.