Those unfortunate enough to be in a motor vehicle accident have to deal with potential injuries, property damage, and other costly consequences. However, if another identified party caused the accident, there are procedures victims can follow to seek compensation. For victims of a hit-and-run, those procedures become more complicated. How do you track down the person who caused the accident? And what do you do if you cannot find them?
If you are in the frustrating aftermath of a hit-and-run accident, contact BDIW right away. An Oklahoma car accident lawyer from our team can answer these questions and others you may have and help you pursue fair compensation.
Types of Hit-and-Run Accidents
There are three basic types of hit-and-run accidents. The kind most people imagine when hearing the phrase “hit-and-run” is when a driver hits another vehicle–or pedestrian or cyclist–and just keeps on driving. The driver does not stop or even slow down. In fact, that driver most likely speeds away as fast as possible.
Then, there is the hit-and-run that occurs when a driver hits an occupied car, perhaps parked in a lot, at a meter, or just along the side of the street. Under Oklahoma Statute 47-10-105, the person who hits the unoccupied vehicle must stop their car and either find the vehicle’s owner or leave a note on the windshield providing contact information. Failure to comply with this statute counts as a hit-and-run.
The third type occurs when the driver stops but does not provide legitimate contact or other information required under Oklahoma statute 47-10-104 to the others involved in the accident. For example, the driver may produce a phony driver’s license. In doing so, they commit a hit-and-run.
A Hit-and-Run Is a Criminal Offense
Oklahoma Title 47 establishes comprehensive laws regarding motor vehicles. Statutes 47-10-101 through 47-10-108 present drivers’ legal responsibilities when involved in an accident and the consequences of failing to uphold these laws.
When involved with accidents involving injury, drivers must–as they are able–render aid to those hurt (which may just entail calling for emergency help) and exchange required information. When there are no injuries, but there is vehicle damage, drivers must stop and exchange information. Accidents involving injuries or resulting in more than $300 in property damage must be reported to authorities.
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Who Pays for Damages in a Hit-and-Run?
It is still possible to have your damages covered after a hit-and-run, though there are more hurdles to clear than for accidents when drivers stop and obey the law. An experienced hit-and-run accident attorney from BDIW can help overcome these challenges so you can get the compensation you need.
Our team has the resources and skills to look deep into your case and can potentially help you recover damages from:
- The hit-and-run driver
- Your insurance company
- Another entity
While you should not try to apprehend a hit-and-run driver on your own, there are steps you can take to support your hit-and-run lawyer’s efforts.
What to Do After a Hit-and-Run Accident
Though you will be shaken after a hit-and-run, even one that occurred in your absence, it is important to do what you can to help your situation, provided you are not seriously injured.
If you are not on a high-speed road, you may be able to snap a picture of the driver, the license plate, or even just a partial image of the car. Take photos of the damage to your car and the surrounding area overall. If your car was hit while parked, photograph the exact location.
Talk to Witnesses
You may not have gotten pictures, but witnesses might have. They may also have gotten a good look at the car, license plate, or driver or the direction the car headed after hitting you. Be sure to ask for contact information from any witnesses.
Document the Details
Document whatever information you can. This includes descriptions of what happened, any observations about the car or driver, and witnesses’ contact details. If your car was hit while unoccupied, write down exactly where the vehicle was located.
Call the Police
Hit-and-runs are criminal offenses, and law enforcement takes these crimes seriously. Their efforts to catch the criminal may also help your efforts to secure compensation.
Get Medical Attention
If you do not need emergency care but sustain what seem to be even minor injuries, see a doctor promptly. The extent of your injuries can be hidden by adrenaline or may just take a few hours to show. Take care of your health and get a documented diagnosis of your injuries to support your demand for compensation.
Connect with an Oklahoma Hit-and-Run Lawyer
Reach out to BDIW as soon as possible after your accident. Fast access to your case gives our team the best chance of tracking down the at-fault party. We can communicate with police while the crime is still “fresh,” and analyze your situation to develop the best strategy for recovering damages.
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An Oklahoma Hit-and-Run Accident Attorney Can Help You Pursue Compensation
In best-case scenarios, the hit-and-run driver is located and held responsible for your damages, and BDIW has connections and resources to help track down offenders. By accessing security or traffic camera footage, asking the right questions of witnesses, and using other methods of investigation, we will work hard to locate the driver.
Sometimes, drivers turn themselves in. They may have fled in a panic or because they were driving under the influence, or they may have left the scene unintentionally, not realizing they had hit you.
When the Driver Is Not Located
If the driver is not located, your hit-and-run lawyer in Oklahoma will help you work with your insurance company to get your damages covered. Our team has vast experience negotiating with insurance companies and navigating Oklahoma’s laws, and we will fight to get you the compensation you need.
Depending on your situation, an experienced attorney may also identify other entities you can hold culpable. These kinds of circumstances are not necessarily typical and require skill to pursue. Unusual or not, if another entity is responsible for creating a series of events or environment leading to your hit-and-run, they should be held accountable.
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We Will See Your Case Through
Unlike hit-and-run drivers, BDIW will stand by you and fight for you for the duration of your case. The sooner you connect with an Oklahoma hit-and-run lawyer from our team, the better. We will work tirelessly to get you the compensation you need and the justice you deserve.
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