How Long Do Hit-and-Run Cases Stay Open For?
A car accident is frustrating enough on its own when you’re the victim. But when another driver crashes into you and flees, also known as a hit-and-run, you know you’ve got an even more grueling process ahead of you. If the driver is not found immediately, the police will likely open an investigation to see if they can find the responsible driver who fled the scene. If you’re injured and are considering your legal options, getting in touch with an attorney may be a good idea at this time.
There are many factors to consider when a case is opened against a driver who fled a hit-and-run scene. The first of which is time length. Here are some things to consider when trying to decide whether to open a case after your accident:
How Long Your Case Might Take
Unfortunately, there isn’t a set amount of time that your hit-and-run accident case will take to close. How long your lawsuit takes predominantly depends on the amount of evidence you have from the accident. With more evidence, the police will be able to find the perpetrator easily. And they will be able to charge them quickly because there is proof of the accident.
However, if there is minimal evidence, your hit-and-run could take a long time to close. Since the driver chose to flee the scene, it can be difficult for law enforcement to identify and subsequently find the suspect. This drags out your case until the perpetrator is found and charged.
Depending on the severity of damages to yourself or your property, your case could take longer as well. If the harm done was minimal, like minor injuries and damage, it can be short. If there were serious injuries or death, or very costly damage to your vehicle, the case could take months to play out.
Another factor that your case length hinges on is how busy the police are. If other, more serious, cases are still open, the police might not have the time to look for the driver who fled the scene of your accident. If they have the time, they will work to find the person. But police have a lot of work to do at a time.
What the Police Will Do
Kentucky law states that a driver must stop if they hit another vehicle and cause damage of any kind. The driver should assume that they caused damage no matter what, even if it’s minor. Whether or not you were in your vehicle at the time of the collision, police officers will run an investigation depending on the extent of injuries or property damage.
If a driver didn’t stop and caused serious damage, then the police have their work cut out for them. Here’s what they’ll do to catch the hit-and-run driver:
- Gather evidence. After any car accident where police are called, they will first gather information to file a report of the incident. Police will want witness statements, pictures of the scene, and a detailed record of any damages caused by the hit-and-run.
- Investigate. Other than speaking to local witnesses, police might inspect surveillance footage of the area to get more clues about the driver, their vehicle, and how the collision happened. If they can’t get videos, they might post on social media to alert the public about the vehicle description.
- Catch the perpetrator. Hopefully these steps will lead the police to the person who caused you harm. Once this happens, your claim can finally take shape and you can hold them accountable for your injuries and damages.
What You Should Do
When your vehicle has been damaged in a hit-and-run, there are some first steps that you need to take. Your claim hinges on evidence, so from the second you notice or were in the collision, you need to pay attention to every detail. To be prepared to file a lawsuit against the driver, here are some things that you should do:
- Speak to the police. Give them all the details you can remember of the perpetrator’s car, including any dents or damages that appeared on their car after the accident. You should also give them the license plate number if you got a look at it. Even if it’s a partial plate, it can help you immensely. This can help speed up the case because it makes the person easier to find.
- Take pictures. Pictures of the accident scene, damages to your property, and of any injuries you have will give you more evidence for your claim. Make sure that there is a timestamp on your pictures as further proof.
- Take notes. The best way to make sure you completely remember the accident is to immediately take notes of everything you can think of. Sometimes it can be hard to remember every detail when you’re talking to your lawyer later. So your notes should be a detailed recounting of what happened in the crash. You should also take note of which parts of the accident caused which damages to property or injuries. The more specific your notes are, the better your claim will be.
After a hit-and-run, you’ll have a lot to deal with as the victim. Your physical and emotional pain might make it hard to handle your case, which is why getting it touch with a car wreck lawyer at Golden Law Office can be a good idea. Reach out to us about your claim, and we’ll give you a free consultation.