While all car accidents are scary and leave lasting damage, being involved in a hit-and-run can be even worse. When another driver leaves the scene without stopping, you may wonder if youíre stuck paying all the expenses from the crash.
Knowing what to do if youíre in this situation will save time, which is instrumental in getting the best outcome.
What You Should Do After a Hit-and-Run Crash
According to dennisandking.com, state law requires drivers to notify local police immediately if involved in a crash that results in injuries or death or creates property damage over $50. Failure to do so within 20 days could have serious consequences for the at-fault driver. When a driver leaves the scene of an accident, they can face criminal charges.
What Penalties Could You Face for a Hit-and-Run in Tennessee?
Drivers that leave the scene of a car accident can be charged with a hit-and-run. The penalties for this crime can range from a Class C misdemeanor for minor property damage to a Class A misdemeanor if someone is injured. A Class A misdemeanor conviction would include jail time of up to 11 months and a fine of up to $2,500.
The hit-and-run driver will likely have their license suspended as well. If the victim of the hit-and-run dies, the charges will usually be upgraded to vehicular manslaughter. This would carry a sentence ranging from 8 to 30 years in prison.
All drivers in Tennessee are required to seek out the owner of the other vehicle if theyíre not present. This includes accidents involving parked vehicles. If the owner of the vehicle canít be found, the law requires that a note be left for the driver with contact information and the driverís license number of the person that hit the vehicle.
What If Youíre the Victim in a Hit-and-Run Accident?
Stay put if youíre in your vehicle when the accident occurs and the other driver leaves. Call 911 immediately to get a police report filed. You will also want to seek medical treatment for injuries.
Provide as much information as you can about the other driver and their vehicle. It could help the police find them more quickly. Witnesses may also be able to fill in the blanks and provide crucial details about the accident.
Recovering Damages When the At-Fault Driver Leaves
Since Tennessee is a fault state for car accident injuries, the person who caused the accident is liable for paying for your losses related to the crash. However, you need the at-fault driverís insurance information to file a claim, which you wonít have if theyíve left the accident scene.
Youíll have to use your health insurance to get emergency care for your injuries. Itís imperative that you contact a personal injury attorney to have someone help you get fair compensation for your losses. Without their help, you may endure financial stress for years because a selfishly negligent person didnít stop after an accident.†