Under Alabama law, anyone who is injured in an accident that results from the reckless or negligent actions of someone else is entitled to compensation for medical expenses and other losses. In a car accident, the insurance company representing the at-fault party typically ends up paying these damages. But what happens if you are injured in a hit and run accident?
Hit and run accidents account for 20 percent of cases where a pedestrian is struck by a car, as well as many auto collisions. It is illegal to leave the scene after an accident in Alabama, but a driver might flee for a variety of reasons:
- Not licensed
- Not insured
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Driving a stolen vehicle
- Avoiding police because of an outstanding arrest warrant
According to an analysis of accident reports by the American Automobile Association (AAA), 18 percent of fatal car crashes involved drivers without a proper license, including licenses that had been revoked or suspended after previous traffic violations. The organization estimates that half of the drivers who disappear after a fatal hit and run are unlicensed.
If you are involved in a hit and run auto accident, your first priority is to get medical attention and contact the police. If possible, you should also do the following:
- Get the names and contact information of any witnesses
- Write down all the details of the accident that you remember
- Document the scene of accident with photos or video
- Contact an experienced auto accident lawyer
Any clues about the identity of the at-fault driver or vehicle can help law enforcement track them down and arrest them. An experienced attorney can offer help with investigating the hit and run accident and, if necessary, negotiating a fair compensation deal with your own insurance company.