A hit-and-run accident occurs when a driver collides with another vehicle, fixed object, or a pedestrian, and chooses to leave the scene without helping anyone or identifying themselves. Any victim of this type of accident could be left shaken and confused, and worried about what to do next.
Hit-and-Run Accidents in Kentucky
Kentucky Statute 189.580, duty in case of an accident, states the operator of any vehicle involved in a crash that results in injury, property damages, or death should first focus on acquiring medical assistance for the parties that need it. The driver should then be prepared to provide and collect personal and vehicle information to and from the other drivers. For the full statute, click here.
Choosing to disregard this law and leave the scene of an accident can result in serious legal consequences including criminal penalties, administrative penalties, and civil penalties.
Reporting a Hit-and-Run Accident
If you are the victim of a hit and run accident, you most likely won’t know who caused your accident. Once you have pulled your vehicle off the road and assessed your physical state, call the police. The sooner you call the police, the better chance they have at catching the fleeing party.
If you’re able to, try to remember and record the at-fault vehicle’s make, model, and color, the direction they were traveling, any descriptions of damage on the at-fault party’s vehicle, as well as the location, time, and possible cause of the crash. This information will assist law enforcement in finding the individual that abandoned the accident scene.
If there were any witnesses at the crash, they may be able to provide additional information. They will hopefully be able to speak with you and the police officers so that their information is recorded in the police report. You’ll also want to take pictures of the scene and any damages to your vehicle.
After you’ve been examined by a medic or doctor and spoken to the police, you’ll need to report the accident to your insurance company. Any compensation you receive will depend on your coverage and whether or not they find the at-fault party.
Recovering Damages After a Hit-and-Run Accident
If law enforcement is able to catch the hit-and-run culprit, you can work with your insurance company and an attorney, like one of our Lexington car accident injury lawyers, to hold that person accountable for their actions and receive compensation.
In most cases, however, the culprit of a hit-and-run will not be identified. If this is the case, it is likely you will be forced to collect compensation from your own insurance company through an uninsured/underinsured motorist claim or a hit-and-run claim, depending on what type of insurance you have. Unfortunately, most hit-and-run car accident claims will require you pay your deductible, even though you are not at fault, because the accident will be covered under your collision coverage.
It’s always a good idea to check with your insurance company to understand your policy in the event of a hit-and-run accident, so you know what to expect if you’re ever in that situation.