Washington DC Hit-and-Run Accidents
A hit-and-run accident can be a devastating experience. If you are the victim of a hit and run, it is important to know your rights and what to do next.
Contact a Washington, DC auto accident lawyer with Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. today for a free consultation. We value the attorney-client relationship, and we will work to protect your rights and obtain the compensation you deserve.
What is a Hit-and-Run?
A hit-and-run accident is defined as an accident in which one or more drivers leave the accident scene without providing their information to the other driver or victims. A hit and run can occur when two cars collide or a vehicle hits a pedestrian or cyclist.
What You Should Do After a Hit-and-Run Car Accident in Washington DC
If you are the victim of a hit and run, it is important to take the following steps:
Check For Injuries
If you are injured, seek medical attention immediately. Even if you don’t believe that you are injured, it is important to get checked out by a doctor as soon as possible. Some injuries do not reveal themselves right away and can worsen over time.
Call the Police
If you are involved in an accident, it is always best to call 911 and report the incident to law enforcement officials to investigate what happened and file an official accident report.
Get the Other Driver’s Information
Try to remember the license plate number and a description of the car that hit you. Take note of the car’s color, make, model, and other noticeable features, such as bumper stickers or decals.
If you can do so safely, take photographs of the accident scene, your car, and any injuries you sustained.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Your insurer will likely have a specific process for handling hit and run claims, so it’s important to know what they require from you. In most cases, you’ll need to file a police report before your insurer begins processing your claim.
Contact an Attorney
If you are the injured person and the other driver fled the accident scene, it is important to contact an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. An attorney will handle communication with your insurer and help you seek compensation for your injuries and damages.
Tips for Protecting Yourself after a Hit and Run Accident
When another driver leaves the scene of an accident, it may feel overwhelming and like you can’t do anything to remedy it. However, there are some steps that you can take to protect yourself:
- Keep your insurance information current – Make sure that your insurance information is up-to-date and accessible if you need to file a claim.
- Have an emergency kit in your car – Include items like a first-aid kit, flares, and a flashlight in case you are stranded after an accident.
- Be aware of your surroundings – Keep an eye out for suspicious activity and be mindful of who is around you when driving. If you see someone following you or if something doesn’t seem right, take action and call the police.
What To Do If You Can’t Identify the Driver
If you are a victim of a hit-and-run accident and cannot identify the driver, it can be challenging to recover damages. However, there are still some options available to you:
Uninsured Motorist Coverage – If the other driver flees the scene or doesn’t have insurance, your uninsured motorist coverage may be available to help cover your damages. Uninsured motorist coverage is required in most states, and Washington, DC so it is likely you have this coverage, so you should not worry that you will not be able to recover damages for your injuries and expenses just because the wrongdoer left the scene. However, you should contact an experienced Washington, DC car accident attorney as soon as possible, to make sure that you take all the correct steps to preserve your rights to make such a claim against your insurance company.
Hit and Run Reward Fund – Many states and Washington DC have a fund that provides financial assistance for drivers who were injured as a result of the negligence of a a hit and run driver. These uninsured motorist funds have very specific qualification requirements, and deadlines. You should contact an experienced Washington, DC car accident attorney to discuss if you qualify for these benefits, and to ensure you meet all deadlines.
Civil Suit – You may be able to file a civil suit against the driver if you can identify them. However, this can be difficult to do without any identifying information. Even if you can’t identify the driver, if you have uninsured motorist coverage, or you qualify for an uninsured motorist fund, you can still file a lawsuit and seek a recovery.
If you are a victim of a hit-and-run accident, it is important to take the necessary steps to protect yourself and your rights. Contact an experienced personal injury attorney for more information and guidance on how to proceed.
How Does a Hit-and-Run Affect Car Insurance?
After a hit-and-run accident, your car insurance rates should not increase, so long as you were not the at-fault party. Insurance companies are not allowed to raise rates when you are not at-fault. However, it is important to contact your insurer as soon as possible after an accident so that they can begin the claims process, and their investigation.
How Can a Hit-and-Run Be Proven?
It can be difficult to prove that a hit-and-run occurred, especially if the other driver fled the scene. There may not be any physical evidence at the accident scene in some cases. However, law enforcement officials will often investigate accidents and track down drivers who have fled the scene. If you are able to provide eyewitness testimony or take photographs of the accident scene, this may also help prove that a hit-and-run occurred.
Is a Hit-and-Run a Crime in Washington D.C.?
Washington DC’s code requires all participants remain at an accident scene to swap information, contact the police, and provide medical assistance if necessary. Failure to uphold this obligation can result in criminal prosecution. Felony charges may also be filed if bodily injury is involved or if property damage exceeds a certain dollar value.
Criminal charges for hit and run accidents vary by state but generally involve higher levels of punishment than civil penalties do. Criminal penalties may include a jail sentence, probation, and community service. If you are involved in a hit-and-run accident, it is important to contact an experienced personal injury attorney to find out your rights and how to proceed.
What Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. Can Do For You
The Washington, D.C. car accident lawyers with Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. have a proven track record of success helping clients obtain the maximum compensation possible for injuries they have suffered due to the negligence of others. Our firm has consistently demonstrated we have the expertise needed to help our clients see that justice is served. We have the resources needed to conduct thorough investigations of all the circumstances contributing to a motor vehicle accident, gathering the evidence to establish liability and negligence.
Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. has achieved more than $500 million in verdicts and settlements, and our attorneys have more than a century of combined legal experience. Two of our partners are certified by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. Our firm has also earned the highest AV® Rating from Martindale-Hubbell®, one of the most respected attorney-ranking service organization in the United States. Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. attorneys work passionately on behalf of our clients to help them secure fair compensation – there is no type of case that is too complex for us to litigate.
How Much are Hit-and-Run Accidents Worth?
The best way to find out what your case might be worth is to speak with an attorney with Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. Our accident lawyers have obtained settlements for various car accident cases.
Here are a few of our case results:
- $6 million for a client who suffered a brain injury after being involved in a rear-end collision.
- $4.8 million for a severely injured client after another vehicle struck his motorcycle.
- $1.9 million for a client who suffered a permanent back injury due to a car accident.
- $1.5 million for a client who had to undergo multiple surgeries after a negligent motorist cut off his motorcycle.
- $1 million settlement obtained on behalf of our 19-year-old client who was a passenger in a car in which the driver lost control, causing a collision. As a result, our client suffered extensive brain damage with cognitive impairment. He was in a coma for an extended period of time. Although he has regained consciousness, he is unable to care for himself. The law firm asked the Court to appoint him a guardian to care for him. The law firm is helping to establish a special needs trust so that the proceeds from the settlement will be protected against any medical liens.
- $1 million settlement on behalf of a client who suffered a brain injury when the driver of the car in which he was a passenger lost control of his vehicle.
Contact an Accident Lawyer Today
If you are looking for the highest level representation available for your personal injury case, turn to Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. Our firm has helped clients recover more than $500 million in compensation, and we have more than 100 years of combined experience. All of our partners are recognized by Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers®, and our firm includes three past presidents of the Trial Lawyers Association of Metropolitan Washington, D.C. We work to help our clients obtain fair settlement offers to compensate them for the injuries they’ve suffered, but our attorneys are extremely well-equipped to go to trial if needed. Call (202) 659-8600 or contact us online to get the proven legal representation you deserve.