Philadelphia Hit and Run Accident Attorney
A hit and run accident, also sometimes called “leaving the scene,” occurs when a driver collides with a pedestrian, cyclist, other vehicle, or property and leaves without reporting the incident. Hit and run accidents cause loss of property, injury, and death, and they’re all too common; the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that one in five pedestrian deaths is the result of a hit and run.
Victims of hit and run accidents should seek experienced legal counsel to help them understand their rights and to aid in financial recovery from any medical bills and lost wages. Contact the personal injury lawyers at Ciccarelli Law Offices for a consultation.
The Impact of a Hit and Run Accident
For victims of a hit and run, the consequences of physical injuries or loss of properties can be serious. Extensive medical bills can become a financial liability, and chronic pain can interfere with work, causing lost wages, even unemployment. A hit and run accident’s repercussions often extend beyond the initial period of recovery, resulting in the injured party’s lost earning capacity and missed opportunities for employment.
Lost or damaged property can also significantly impair someone’s ability to function, causing emotional distress and inability to work. For example, if your vehicle sustains damages, you may be unable to engage in your normal activities without reliable transportation.
What to Do If You Experience a Hit and Run Accident
While a hit and run accident is very stressful, a victim can take some steps to minimize the negative effects:
- Seek immediate medical attention if you have serious injuries. Even if you don’t think you’ve been hurt seriously, you should still see a doctor soon after the accident to make sure you don’t have latent injuries. Injuries like brain damage and whiplash may not become obvious for days after an accident, and a doctor’s exam will help document any potential problems.
- Try to gather as many details as you can about the car that hit you. Write down the color, make, and model. If possible, try to see or remember the license plate.
- Determine whether any witnesses might be able to verify events or provide additional information, and take down their names and contact info.
- Before you leave the scene, note the exact location and time of the accident. Take pictures of the site and of the damage to your property.
- Resist the urge to follow the car that hit you or your property. Call the police instead, and file a report. Be sure to give the police all the information you gathered about the vehicle, the time and location, and any witnesses. Regardless of whether the police find the vehicle that hit you, it’s important to have a police report on file. It will help with the insurance claims and establish the accident details for any future legal proceedings.
- Contact your insurance provider and file a claim.
- Find experienced legal representation.
What if Someone Accuses You of a Hit and Run Accident?
Laws in Pennsylvania have recently changed and now prescribe stricter penalties for hit and run accidents. Kevin’s Law, a Pennsylvania hit and run law signed in 2014, requires a minimum prison sentence of three years for those who flee the scene of a fatal accident. Even in non-fatal hit and run accidents, the penalties can be severe. It’s vitally important to seek legal counsel to protect your rights if someone accuses you of leaving the scene of an accident.
For any party in a hit and run, retaining expert legal counsel is crucial to recovering from this difficult event. Contact Ciccarelli Law Offices’ experienced Philadelphia legal team today for a consultation, and get your life back.