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How Do the Police Investigate a Hit-and-Run Accident?

A hit-and-run accident causes the shock and devastation of a regular car accident but adds more stress because the other driver isn’t present to deal with the aftermath. You may begin to worry about affording medical bills, recovering from injuries, and if you’ll have to miss work. But you can seek help.

A Columbia hit-and-run accident lawyer from The Solomon Law Group will stand by your side and make your rights a priority. Our lawyers are skilled and experienced in these types of cases and won’t settle early or for less than what you deserve.

What Classifies a Car Accident as a Hit-and-Run?

In a regular car accident, the parties involved in the crash stay at the scene after the collision. They make sure if anyone needs medical assistance, call the police, and start to exchange contact and policy information so they can proceed with their insurance providers.

A hit-and-run accident is when the person who caused the crash leaves the scene, which is committing a crime. Depending on the severity of the other person’s injuries or property damage, it could be classified as a misdemeanor or a felony.

How Do Police Conduct a Hit-and-Run Accident Investigation?

Just because the hit-and-run driver gets away from the scene, it doesn’t mean they get away with the crime. The police have a number of strategies that will help them find the person who committed the hit-and-run.

The police may:

  • Canvass the Area. The police can speak to people who were there at the time of the accident, or if the accident happened near a residential area or businesses. It’s possible that someone saw something that could help—like an eyewitness to the incident or they remember seeing a car speed off and they could name the make and model of the car.
  • Use Surveillance Footage. It’s also possible that businesses or private residences have surveillance cameras set up for security purposes. Those cameras may have caught the accident or give police more details about the car the person was driving when they committed the hit-and-run.
  • Post Information on Social Media. While it’s not a good idea for you to personally post about legal matters on social media, the police may release information about the hit-and-run on social media and television to cast a wider net to find anyone who may have seen something or knows something. This outreach could encourage someone to come forward if they’ve been unsure or on the fence about coming to the police.

As they gather more information about the accident, they can branch out their investigation and work to find the hit-and-run driver.

What Will Help You After a Hit-and-Run?

While being involved in a hit-and-run accident is a terrifying and traumatic experience, what you do next can help you claim in many ways. Having a clear head and knowing what to do will benefit you in the future.

  • Remain Calm. While it may be difficult to stay calm in this situation, try your best to keep a cool head and assess the situation. Move out of traffic if you can so you and your vehicle are safe.
  • Contact Authorities. Call the police immediately and request an ambulance if you or someone else needs medical attention. The police will take a statement from you. When you’re giving your account of the hit-and-run, try to be as accurate as possible and don’t guess at any information. Crucial details that could help your case include the license plate, color of the vehicle, and its make and model.
  • Take Notes. After you’ve given your statement, write down what happened because the accident is sill fresh in your mind. You may not be able to recall details if you wait a few days to get it on paper.
  • Photograph the Scene. Take photographs of the damage done to your car and the property around it. Get photographs of the whole scene and close-ups of your car.

Your accident lawyer has the tools to investigate the scene with a trained eye. They’ll stand up for your rights and make sure that you’re getting the compensation you need. A crash can cause major financial setbacks, but your settlement could help cover those expenses. You can rest assured that you’ll have financial support for the future.

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