Did you know that a hit-and-run accident occurs every 43 seconds in the United States? The hit-and-run statistics are even more alarming within the state of Nevada. Nevada has the fourth-largest rate of fatal hit-and-run crashes in the nation. Even more disturbing is the number of hit-and-run incidents in Las Vegas. This city alone is responsible for the vast majority of the hit-and-run accidents in Nevada. With so many hit-and-run accidents taking place in Las Vegas drivers and pedestrians need to know what steps to take when someone causes a crash but flees the scene.
Keep a Record
The moments right after an accident, particularly a hit-and-run accident, are important. Recording details can be the difference between the driver who caused the crash being held accountable or getting off the hook. Keeping a record and gathering as much information about the accident as possible can help you (or your attorney) track down the driver, allowing you to hold them as well as their insurance company liable for any injuries you may have sustained.
Record Basic Information
It sounds simple, but writing down what you remember from the accident itself and what happened immediately thereafter can be a big help. First, try to describe the vehicle that hit you. If you can, include:
- License plate number
This information will also be helpful to the police as they work to try and apprehend the at-fault driver. Documenting the location, date, and time of the accident is also important.
Get the Contact Information of Any Witnesses
While you are still at the scene, it is important to ask all witnesses for their contact information. Witnesses play an important role in any car accident claim. However, they can be particularly important after a hit-and-run as they can be key to identifying the driver who caused the crash.
If the hit-and-run accident occurs in a parking lot or an intersection where cameras may be, it would also be wise to try and obtain a copy of any surveillance footage. Of course, video of the accident can be the key to identifying the at-fault driver. It can also validate the severity of your crash and, therefore, your resulting injuries.
Contact the Police
Calling 911 as quickly as possible is also crucial following a hit-and-run accident. The police will help document the scene, gather evidence, and ensure you receive any needed medical assistance. It may seem like a waste of time since the at-fault driver fled the scene, but the information and evidence gathered by police can be critical.
What to Avoid
You will want to avoid doing some things if you are the victim of a hit-and-run accident. First and foremost, do not try to chase down the driver who struck you. You do not know what state of mind the at-fault driver is in or what drastic measures they will take to flee the scene. Stay at the scene. Do not wait to call the police. Get the help you need right away.
You also don’t want to put off seeking medical treatment. You may worry about seeing a medical professional out of fear of being held liable for the medical care, but your health is too important to take that risk. People are often hurt far worse than they realize. The shock of the crash can, and very often does, mask their injuries.
Hire an Experienced Injury Lawyer
Car accidents are stressful regardless of the cause, but when the at-fault driver leaves the scene, it aggravates the entire ordeal. Additionally, if a driver hits you and leaves the scene, the accident can be downright overwhelming. A lawyer with experience handling hit-and-run accidents may be able to help alleviate some of that stress. Our team at SJW Law understands the complexity of hit-and-run laws in Nevada, and we are prepared to assist you in your case. Call us to schedule a free consultation.