If you are involved in a car accident, you expect that, after the accident, the other driver will stop, get out of his car, and the two of you will call the police and exchange contact information. This is the normal way that most accidents proceed. However, sometimes the at-fault driver in a car accident does not stop after the accident, but keeps on driving. This is what is known as a “hit and run” accident. In this article, we will go over what to do if this happens to you.
Hit and Run Accidents in Georgia
Leaving the scene of an accident is a crime. In Georgia, this area of the law is codified at § 40-6-270 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA) and reads, in pertinent part:
- (a) The driver of any vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury to or the death of any person or in damage to a vehicle which is driven or attended by any person shall immediately stop such vehicle at the scene of the accident or shall stop as close thereto as possible and forthwith return to the scene of the accident and shall:
- (1) Give his or her name and address and the registration number of the vehicle he or she is driving;
- (2) Exhibit his or her operator’s license to the person struck;
- (3) Render aid to any person who is injured in the accident; and
- (4) Where a person injured in such accident is unconscious, appears deceased, or is otherwise unable to communicate, make every reasonable effort to contact emergency services.
Violations of this statute result in various punishments depending on the severity of the damage caused. For accidents in which the result was death or serious injury, leaving the scene of the accident is a felony and is punishable by up to five years in prison. For accidents in which the result was a non-serious injury or property damage, leaving the scene of the accident is a misdemeanor and s punishable by a fine of up to $1,000.
What to Do After a Hit and Run Accident
- Get as much information as you can about the car that hit you, including
- License plate number
- Look for possible witnesses to the accident and get their names and contact information
- Write down the time and location of the accident
- Take pictures of the accident scene and the damage to your vehicle
- File a police report
- File a claim with your insurance company
Keep in mind that you cannot take legal action unless the police find the responsible driver. And even if the driver is found and identified, you may not be able to recover any damages from him if he is uninsured or underinsured. If it turns out that this is the case, your next best option is to bring a lawsuit and hope to recover damages from the driver’s other assets, such as real estate, money in the bank, or other high-value personal property.
Contact an Atlanta Hit and Run Accident Attorney for a Free Consultation
If you have been injured in a hit and run accident, you may be able to bring a personal injury action against the responsible driver. Contact the attorneys at Slappey & Sadd for a free consultation to discuss your case by calling 404.255.6677. We serve the entire state of Georgia, including the following locations: Marietta, Smyrna, and Decatur.