What to do when you are the runner from a hit and run?
I was driving during stop and go rush hour when I got into a fender bender. The person I hit pulled over into a median zone barely wide enough to fit a car. I did not feel safe pulling over there and drove slow with my blinker on looking for a better place to pullover. As the lanes we were in were about to merge onto a different freeway I continued because I did not feel comfortable pulling over in a dangerous zone. I slowly continued down the freeway and lost the person I had hit because they did not keep driving. This morning I received a phone call investigating a "hit and run" so the person must have gotten my phone number. I have not talked to the police and I can't imagine there being any witnesses. What should I do now? Low amounts of damage done and low probability of injury.
7 attorney answers
They likely have your license plate and registration info if they have your number. I think you know what you should do - You know you hit them, and believe you caused damage, even if in a low amount. You know that you had a good reason for not stopping, but if I were you, I would report the claim to my insurance, with the facts and telephone number of the person I hit. I do not know the criminal implications involved. My advice is only related to the right thing to do, in my opinion.
Jonathan Peirce is licensed to practice law in Texas and Washington State. DISCLAIMER: This information is for general information purposes only. Nothing stated above should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation.
I agree with Attorney Pierce. Contact an attorney who handles traffic citations as well.
Personal injury cases only; I'm good at it; you be the Judge! All information provided is for informational and educational purposes only. No attorney client relationship has been formed or should be inferred. Please speak with a local and qualified attorney. I truly wish you and those close to you all the best. Jeff
Retain a local criminal lawyer. Avvo has a terrific "find a lawyer" tool to locate a top-rated Avvo attorney with a low fee. Good luck.
"I can't imagine there being any witnesses." You probably are wrong. If traffic was "stop and go", I would think that there are plenty of witnesses who had plenty of opportunity to write down your license plate number. Given that everyone seems to have a cell phone, many persons likely took pictures or videos of you driving away.
Hit and run is a criminal law offense.
You should not talk with anyone, except your attorney, about the details of the case. You likely should hire an attorney who can help you to approach the police.
You have a contractual duty to report the incident to your insurer. If you do not timely report the incident, the insurer likely has the legal right to refuse to pay.
"Low amounts of damage done and low probability of injury." There are plenty of persons who will dispute the validity of either statement. It is very expensive to fix some cars. People can be severely injured even in collisions that appear to be minor.
You should review the specific facts with your attorney to find out your legal options.
What you should do is consult with an experienced criminal lawyer. You should also report this to your insurance company.
You should report this to your insurance company immediately so they are aware of what happened. You may also need to contact a criminal defense attorney for the hit and run charge.
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