Our Columbus car accident attorneys at Oliver Law Office know that an auto accident can be a life-changing experience and a source of significant physical and emotional pain. This may be especially true if you look up from the crash and see the at-fault driver fleeing from the scene.
If you find yourself involved in a hit-and-run in Ohio, it is vital to understand the state laws and insurance coverages that may help you recover from the crash even when the other driver cannot be found.
Ohio law requires that every driver involved in any accident resulting in damage stop at or near the accident scene, exchange names and addresses, registration numbers, and driver’s license information with other people involved, and contact medical personnel if necessary.
Despite the law, at-fault drivers frequently still flee , which places our clients in challenging situations when pursuing compensation for their damages. Here is what hit-and-run victims need to know about their legal rights and options to pursue a claim.
What Qualifies as a Hit-and-run Accident in Ohio?
A hit-and-run accident involves a driver, typically the at-fault party, fleeing the scene without providing information to the other involved parties.
Drivers attempt to flee accident scenes for multiple reasons, including not having insurance, a valid driver’s license, a history of reckless driving, or being impaired, which could lead to significant legal consequences once the police arrive.
What Should I Do After a Hit-and-Run Accident in Ohio?
Victims of hit-and-run accidents are encouraged to call the police, get a record of the incident, and document any damage done. Even if the person responsible is never found, this can help to create a record of the incident and avoid insurance penalties.
Contact Emergency Services
Your health, that of your passengers, and anyone involved, like pedestrians, should be your priority. Call emergency services (911) for an ambulance if there are injuries.
Collect Information and Take Photographs
Collect as much information as possible about the accident if your injuries allow. Take detailed notes about the car and driver, and record a license plate if it was visible during the crash. Also, be prepared to describe the event to responding law enforcement and take photos of the accident scene, the surrounding area, and your vehicle.
If you can, try to learn if anyone in the area, surrounding homes, or other buildings may have witnessed the accident. If willing, get their contact information and provide it to the police. The witnesses may be able to give details on the other vehicle that could help find the at-fault driver.
Seek Medical Help Immediately
If you were not transported to the closest medical facility from the scene, go to the nearest emergency room to ensure your injuries are thoroughly documented and a treatment plan is put in place.
What Happens Next?
Two scenarios may unfold after an Ohio hit-and-run accident.
If the fleeing driver is found, you can file a claim with that driver’s auto insurer if the driver is insured. Ohio also allows you to file a lawsuit against the driver if necessary.
If the fleeing driver is never located, your insurance policy may provide compensation based on your coverage.
UM/UIM coverage covers bodily injury and property damage incurred by you or the passengers in your vehicle from an accident where the other driver is uninsured or underinsured or if they flee the scene and cannot be located.
We can help you pursue the at-fault driver’s insurance policy — if they are found and carry coverage — or your insurance coverage for your complete compensation needs so that you can focus on your physical and emotional recovery.
Contact Our Skilled Hit-And-Run Accident Attorneys in Columbus, Ohio Today
If you have been injured or tragically lost a loved one during a hit-and-run crash in Ohio, contact our dedicated Columbus car accident attorneys today for help. There is never a charge to speak with an attorney or any upfront costs to associate with our law firm in an injury or death matter.
We handle all injury cases on a contingency basis, which means we advance all the costs necessary to pursue your claim, and we only charge you a fee if and when there is a successful result.
Oliver Law Office is a client-focused law firm emphasizing the individualized needs of each client with personalized attention. We handle every case with confidence, courage, and determination. Please call us at (614)-220-9100 or fill out a Contact Us form so we can be in touch as soon as possible – let’s get started on your claim today.
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