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What to Do If You are the Victim of a Hit and Run Accident?

Both the rates of hit and run accidents and fatalities from these accidents are increasing – a hit and run accident occurs every 43 seconds in the United States, and 20% of pedestrian fatalities are caused by hit and runs.

If you are the victim of a hit and run accident, you may not know where to turn and whom to hold responsible. An auto accident attorney at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C., is the best place to start.

What is a hit and run?

A hit and run accident refers to an auto accident where a car, or other vehicle is involved in an accident, damaging another vehicle, person, animal, or fixed object, without stopping to identify yourself, exchange information, or help anyone that is injured. According to the DMV, it is about fleeing the scene of the accident, and if not reported properly, it is a crime and may result in a criminal charge.

What you should do immediately following a hit and run

If someone hits you or your vehicle and flees the scene:

  • Stay calm and remain at the scene.
  • Check for injuries and call 911 for emergency assistance.
  • Write down as much as you can remember immediately, or record it in a voice message, as it is very difficult a few minutes later to remember once shock sets in.
  • Record the type of vehicle, the color, make or model, and license plate number if you saw it.
  • Even if you cannot remember much of the license plate number, record what you can.
  • Check for witnesses and record their information and statements, if possible.
  • Photograph the accident scene in as much detail as possible – the surrounding area, the road and traffic lights or signs, possible security cameras, the vehicles involved, the actual damage inflicted.
  • Carefully examine the damage for paint transferred from the other vehicle, or broken glass on the scene, and photograph that close up.
  • Use video recording; it will capture more details to be examined later.
  • Report the hit and run to the police.
  • You may be asked to go to a collision reporting center.
  • Call your insurance company to notify them of the accident. However, do not sign anything or give too much information, let your car accident lawyer deal with them.

If you don’t report it to the police, the incident might be considered an at fault loss by your insurer, meaning it could end up having an impact on your car insurance premium.

What does the law say?

If a driver knowingly leaves the scene of an accident without providing their information, it is a hit and run. However, if there is no one around, but you leave your information and file a police report, it will not be considered a hit and run.

Depending on the circumstances, a hit and run may be regarded as a traffic infraction, misdemeanor, or felony. Michigan motorists have the legal obligation to stop and contact the authorities. Willingly leaving the scene of an accident is a serious offence and can result in a six-point misdemeanor, hefty fine and felony traffic violation.

Hit and run accident law in Michigan

Damage to Unattended Vehicle

  • Misdemeanor
  • Imprisonment up to 90 days and/or a fine up to $100

Damage to Vehicle Driven/Attended by Person

  • Misdemeanor
  • Imprisonment up to 90 days and/or a fine up to $100

Injury:

  • Misdemeanor
  • Imprisonment up to 1 year and/or a fine up to $1,000
  • Suspension of driver’s license

Serious bodily injury:

  • Imprisonment up to 5 years and/or a fine up to $5,000

Death

  • Imprisonment up to 15 years and/or a fine up to $10,000

Get legal assistance at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C.

In Michigan, you can trust the law firm of Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. to help you if you have been injured by the negligence of a third party in a hit and run. Our auto accident lawyers have helped victims of Michigan car accidents, motorcycle accidents, truck accidents and pedestrian accidents receive the damages they deserve.

We understand that being involved in a car accident is a traumatic experience. A personal injury attorney at our law firm can help you file an auto accident lawsuit and ensure you receive the compensation you are eligible for by law. Call a Michigan hit and run accident lawyer at our law firm at (866) 868-3779 for a free consultation.

Sebastian graduated from a liberal arts ivy league college with a major in history and minors in economics and classical studies. While in college he worked as a medical trainer and has a special interest in sports injuries and their impact on student-athletes. In his spare time, he enjoys playing soccer and ice hockey and visiting museums.

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