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What to Do After a Hit-and-Run Accident in Missouri

Published on Apr 27, 2018 at 3:08 pm in Car Accidents.

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Hit-and-run accidents are traumatic experiences that are difficult to handle on your own. A car accident can affect you physically and emotionally. While you need to be focused on recovery, you’re probably worrying about medical expenses and missing work, not to mention catching the person who committed the hit-and-run.

An experienced Missouri car accident lawyer from Thomas Law Offices can help you get back on your feet. We’ll work with you to fight for the compensation you deserve. You can have peace of mind that someone is standing up for your rights.

What Makes a Car Accident a Hit-and-Run?

People involved in car accidents have an obligation to stop driving, offer help to anyone who needs medical assistance, report the accident, and exchange information with the other party so they can start settling the matter with their insurance companies. This process is stressful enough on its own, but sometimes a person in an accident doesn’t stop. They continue to drive away from the scene of the accident. This act is a hit-and-run and is a serious offense.

Hit-and-run drivers can face major consequences for their crimes. In some cases, a hit-and-run can be classified as a misdemeanor. The driver can face up to one year in jail and have to pay a fine of $1,000. In cases where the other party was injured, there was significant property damage of more than $1,000, or this is a repeat offense, the driver can be charged with a felony. This means they face up to four years in prison and a hefty fine of $5,000.

What Should You Do After a Hit-and-Run?

The shock of a hit-and-run can leave anyone feeling like they don’t know what to do. But you can do a lot to help your claim in the moments after a hit-and-run.

  • Contact Authorities. If you’re injured you should call 911 immediately. But if you can speak to the police, take this opportunity to tell them what happened. They can then start to investigate the accident and start figuring out the driver’s identity.
  • Preserve Evidence. Take photographs of the accident so you can show where your car was hit and what the scene of the accident looked like. Make sure to get multiple photographs that show the scope of the accident and up-close details of damage.
  • Take Notes. Write down the accident as you remember it while it’s still fresh in your mind. Try to remember as many facts as you can, but don’t guess or fill in details. Note if you have any injuries and how they affect your day-to-day life and get copies of medical records that shows what treatment you need for recovery.

The police have tools at their disposal to help find the hit-and-run driver. They can check surveillance cameras of local businesses or homes that may have caught the driver’s appearance or license plate. Police can also canvass the area and ask if anyone saw something odd. They may find an eyewitness who remembers crucial details about the accident. In some cases, the police may turn to the internet. Posting information on social media broadens the outreach so more people will be informed of the accident. This could mean someone could come forward with information that the police wouldn’t have reached with a canvassing method.

You increase your chances of finding the hit-and-run driver when you give the police as much information as possible and get them involved quickly. After that, you can proceed with your car accident claim and get the compensation you deserve.

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Tad Thomas - Trial Lawyer

Tad Thomas

Managing Partner

Tad Thomas has dedicated his practice to representing plaintiffs in various types of civil litigation, including personal injury, business litigation, class actions, and multi-district litigation.

After graduating with his law degree in 2000 from Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University, Mr. Thomas immediately opened his own private practice and began representing injury victims.

In 2011, Thomas Law Offices was established in Louisville, Kentucky. Over the past decade, Mr. Thomas has expanded his firm and now has offices in three additional locations: Cincinnati, Ohio, Columbia, Missouri, and Chicago, Illinois. He is also a frequent lecturer on topics like trial skills and ethics and technology.

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