HOW TO AVOID A HIT AND RUN VIOLATION ON YOUR RECORD
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Did you know that failure to exchange insurance information after an auto accident can result in a Hit and Run charge?
In the unfortunate event that you get into a traffic accident and fail to exchange insurance information with the other driver, the police officer handling the matter may charge you with Hit and Run, irrespective of who is responsible for the collision.
Usually after a collision, the police officers send you a letter asking you to go to the police station so you can talk about the incident, after which they send you another letter with a court date charging you with the criminal offense of Hit and Run.
Hit and Run is charged as a misdemeanor (a criminal offense) that can result in at a minimum:
- A $1,000 fine
- 2 or 3 points on your driver’s license record – 2 for the misdemeanor, 1 for the accident
- increased insurance rates
- A criminal record
The best way to address this charge is to work out a civil compromise, where you get the other party to drop the Hit and Run charges in exchange for you paying for the resultant damage to their car. If someone was injured in the Hit and Run, however, it is considered a felony, where you face more severe punishment.
WHAT DOCUMENTS TO KEEP AFTER YOU’VE BEEN INJURED IN A CAR ACCIDENT
Experiencing a car accident can be scary, especially if you get injured. Probably the last thing you’re worrying about after an accident is building a strong case for yourself if you should need to sue the other driver. However, the more documentation you can collect, especially after the accident, the stronger you can make your case. Of course, if you are seriously injured, your first priority is getting to a hospital for treatment!
Here are documents that can help your personal injury lawyer build your case:
- Pictures of the accident scene: If you are not seriously injured and are not in physical danger, take pictures of the accident scene with your phone. The police don’t always get all the details right in their report
- Contact information from witness. If you are able to speak with others who witnessed the accident, try to get their names and contact information. Your lawyer might want to speak with them later.
- All of your medical bills. If you had serious injuries, you will likely receive a wide range of bills from your healthcare provider. Keep all of these in a folder for your attorney.
- Medical diagnosis. Ask your doctor for all x-rays, test results, and notes. Keep these in the file for your attorney.
- Journal entries. It may take a year or more for your case to go to trial if it gets that far. Don’t depend on your memory to remember every little detail of your injury and recovery. Take notes every day about the pain and difficulties you experienced so that you can testify more clearly.
As soon as possible after you are injured in a car accident, you need to retain a personal injury attorney who can help ensure that you are well taken care of. If you live in Temecula, contact the personal injury attorneys at Albrecht & Albrecht.