Virginia has many traffic laws that exist primarily for the safety of the public. Rules regarding when to grant someone else the right of way at a busy intersection and concerning insurance coverage help reduce the risk of crashes and the overall danger of driving. Sadly, there are plenty of drivers who break traffic laws without much consideration of the potential consequences. There are many motorists who drive when they have a suspended license or when they know they are too drunk to legally operate a motor vehicle, for example.
Some of these irresponsible drivers will cause crashes and may then flee the scene of a collision in hopes of avoiding personal responsibility for the situation. What does someone affected by a hit-and-run collision typically need to do after being injured in such a crash?
They report the incident to the authorities
Even if they have no way of identifying the other driver involved, the person affected by a hit-and-run crash should file a report with the local authorities. While they may not be able to identify the other driver, the police may have a better chance of doing so, as they have access to resources like traffic camera footage. Filing a report is both legally necessary in many cases and the best option for holding the other driver accountable.
They file an insurance claim
If the police managed to track down the driver who fled the scene of the crash, then the person who didn’t pause the collision will be able to file a claim against their insurance coverage. If locating the other driver has proven to be difficult, motorists can sometimes use their own insurance coverage. Uninsured motorist protection or collision coverage will often compensate those affected by hit-and-run collisions that go unsolved.
They pursue a civil lawsuit
Provided that a driver eventually identifies the other party involved in the crash, they could take the hit-and-run driver to civil court. Personal injury lawsuits can help if the motorist who caused the crash either did not have insurance or had a policy that did not cover the damage that they caused. Both the fault for causing the crash and the illegal choice to flee the scene could potentially result in someone having financial responsibility for another party’s losses related to a recent wreck.
Responding appropriately after a hit-and-run collision can be as important as having the right insurance coverage after a crash. Working with a legal professional is often the most efficient and effective way forward.