Charleston Hit and Run Car Accident Lawyer
A hit and run car accident involves a driver of a vehicle causing an accident with another car, pedestrian or property and fleeing the scene without providing accurate information as required by law. Hit and run accidents can also occur if a driver collides with a parked vehicle without leaving contact information. South Carolina law requires that if a person has been involved in an accident while driving a car, motorcycle, bicycle or truck, they must provide accurate contact information, a name, driver’s license number, license plate numbers of all vehicles involved and vehicle insurance information. If the drivers involved do not follow these guidelines, the accident will be considered as hit and run accident. Hit and run accidents are unlawful and can result in a loss of driving privileges or further penalty depending on the depth of damage.
In hit and run accidents, different reason exist as to why drivers flee a scene of a crash. The most common reason for drivers leaving the scene of an accident is when the driver does not have car insurance. South Carolina law requires that drivers possess the minimum car insurance for liability coverage and uninsured motorist coverage. If an uninsured driver gets in an accident, they are likely to leave the scene before providing any information to avoid getting in trouble for not having the proper insurance. Other possibilities for a driver fleeing an accident include:
- If the driver was intoxicated
- If the driver had a criminal record
- If the driver did not have a license or had a suspended license
There are some potential defenses to excuse hit and run accidents. These would include:
- An emergency situation. If the driver that flees the scene was rushing her child to the emergency room, it is possible that a hit and run would be excused.
- Involuntary intoxication. If someone involuntarily consumes drugs or alcohol, drives and gets into an accident, it is possible that a hit and run may be excused. This may occur, for example, if a driver has been unknowingly drugged before driving and then hits a parked car.
- Not knowing the accident occurred. In order to be held liable, the defendant has to know that they were at fault for personal injury or property damage. It is extremely difficult to hold someone liable if they did not know they caused harm and left the scene. If the driver should have known about the damage and was purely negligent, then they may still be charged guilty.
If you are the victim of a hit and run accident and are able to do so, take pictures of the scene and get the contact information of any eye witnesses. You should then immediately seek medical attention. Not seeking immediate medical attention may detriment your claim and reduce damage recovery. Next, you need to report the situation to the police as soon as possible. If you do not report the accident in a timely manner, the insurance company may not accept your claim. Furthermore, to file a claim with insurance the personal injury or property damage must be a result of the hit and run accident. If this did not happen, a witness must be brought forth for testimony. The final requirement is to show that you did not personally fail to identify the driver or vehicle that fled the scene.
To strengthen your case you will need admissible evidence. This can include providing copies of your medical records and bills, and seeking out eye witnesses of the accident for statements. If you have any photos, videos or a license plate number of the driver who fled the scene, report them to the police as soon as possible.
You should also consider hiring an attorney to support you in your case. An experienced hit and run accident attorney will relieve you of this burden by understanding the law and guide you through the case step by step to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.
Contact a skilled car accident lawyer today with Steinberg Law Firm.
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