What Do I Do After a Hit-and-Run Accident in Virginia?

Jul 20, 2020 | Auto Accidents

Fleeing the scene of a car accident is illegal and victims can face stiff criminal penalties. However, the at-fault driver being fined or imprisoned does nothing to help you with medical bills and other damages.

Fortunately, victims of hit-and-run accidents may be able to obtain insurance compensation, particularly if the police are able to find the driver who fled. There are steps victims can take to possibly improve their chances of recovering compensation.

One of those steps is calling an experienced attorney to review the accident with you. At Geoff McDonald and Associates, the initial consultation is free. You are also not obligated to hire our firm if we validate your case.

Moments After a Hit-and-Run Crash

Victims of these accidents are often angry, and they should be. Someone else damaged your car and may have caused you to be physically injured. That person is also trying to avoid responsibility for it.

However, you may have just a few seconds to watch the driver flee. In those few seconds you can gather a lot of information to help the police locate this individual.

The license plate number is probably the most important piece of evidence. Identifying the make, model and color of the vehicle is also important, along with damage the car suffered in the crash with your vehicle.

Try to get a good look at the driver. Even from a distance you may be able to determine if the driver is a man or woman.

Write down what you see as quickly as possible, before you forget. You could also record a video where you say what you saw. It is easy to quickly forget important details you will need in your claim for compensation.

Why You Should Not Chase the Driver

Your car may still be safe to drive, and it may be tempting to chase down the driver who fled. However, there is no telling why the driver left the scene. It is possible he or she has a warrant out for his or her arrest. The driver may have just left the scene of a crime. The driver may also not have insurance and is hoping to escape financial responsibility for your injuries and damages.

No matter the reason, it can be dangerous to chase down a hit-and-run driver. You should leave that to the police.

Building a Case for Compensation

Your main priority after any car accident is receiving medical treatment. You should call 9-1-1 so first responders can come to the scene and begin providing treatment. Calling 9-1-1 will also send the police to the scene. You can provide the officer with the information you collected about the fleeing driver and his or her vehicle so the police can try to find him or her.

While you wait for the police to arrive, try to move your vehicle out of the flow of traffic into a safe location. If you are in pain, you may want to just stay in the car instead of getting out and moving around and possibly making your injuries worse.

If it is safe to get out of your car, look for witnesses. They may have gotten a good look at the driver. They may also have seen things that help show the other driver is at fault. Make sure to ask for contact information, that way your attorney can contact them later as he or she works to build a strong case.

Insurance Claims for Hit-and-Run Crashes

If you have uninsured motorist coverage, your Richmond car accident lawyer may be able to file a claim against it, even if the police cannot find the other driver. Even if they do find the driver, it is possible he or she does not have insurance – being uninsured may be the reason the driver left you at the scene.

If the police locates the driver, and he or she has insurance, your lawyer may be able to file a claim against his or her liability coverage. This claim would proceed in much the same way claims over non-hit-and-run crashes would.

Virginia Law Prohibiting Leaving a Crash Scene

Virginia drivers have various obligations after an accident. Drivers must provide reasonable assistance to anyone injured in an accident, such as taking injured people to the hospital. Drivers must also stop as close to the scene as possible. They are also required to report injuries, contact information, driver’s license number and vehicle registration number to state police or local law enforcement.

Failing to uphold these obligations is against the law and could be considered a Class 5 felony, depending on the damages suffered in the crash.

Call Today to Find Out How We May Be Able to Help

There are many advantages to having legal representation as you pursue car accident compensation. It costs nothing to discuss these advantages with one of the licensed attorneys at our firm. If you have a valid case and hire our firm, we will not be paid unless we recover compensation on your behalf.

Learn more about how we could assist you by calling us or completing a free case evaluation form to schedule your initial consultation. This meeting is also a chance to get answers to your questions about the legal process.

Geoff McDonald and Associates: 804-888-8888.


No Fees Unless We Win

    How Are Truck Accidents Different From Car Accidents in Virginia?

    Power trucking accidents are one of the most dangerous types of road accidents, and they differ significantly from car accidents in several ways. The most apparent difference between a truck and a car is their size and weight. Trucks are much bigger and heavier than...

    What to Do if You’re Hurt in a Virginia Multi-Vehicle Crash

    Any car accident has the potential to cause catastrophic injuries and property damage, and multi-vehicle accidents can dramatically increase those risks.  Multiple-vehicle accidents involve three or more vehicles, which also complicates determining fault and...

    How Do I Know If I Have a Valid Truck Accident Case in Virginia?

    Truck accidents are some of the deadliest vehicle accidents that occur across Virginia, especially when commercial trucks collide with smaller vehicles. If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a truck collision, you may ask, “Do I have a valid truck accident case?”...

    Is It Illegal to Tailgate Behind another Car in Virginia?

    Following too closely in Virginia is a traffic infraction punishable by a fine beginning at $81. Tailgating in Virginia is not only a moving traffic violation that could result in demerit points on your driver’s license, but is also dangerous to drivers and passengers...

    Our Case Results

    Industrial Plant Accident

    Attorneys for the Plaintiff: Jeffrey A. Breit and Justin M. Sheldon Our client was killed in an industrial accident when an unauthorized worker was operating an overhead crane and pinned our client between…

    Rear-End Crash

    Our client suffered a traumatic brain injury, facial trauma, a dislocated hip and severe abdominal trauma when she was rear-ended at a traffic light by a tractor trailer. Suit was commenced shortly after…

    Assault of Log Truck Driver

    Attorneys for the Plaintiff: Geoffrey R. McDonald, Frank H. Hupfl, Justin M. Sheldon.
    Our client suffered a traumatic brain injury after being assaulted and knocked to the ground while fueling his logging…

    Drunk Driving Crash

    Our client suffered neck/head trauma and a broken wrist after his vehicle was struck by a drunk driver while he was stopped at a traffic light. Upon rejection of a settlement offer of $325,000, our litigation…

    Rear-End Collision

    Attorneys for the Plaintiff: Justin M. Sheldon and Geoff R. McDonald, Richmond
    GMA’s client was injured as a result of a rear-end collision in the greater Richmond area. The crash occurred a little after…

    Client Reviews

    Cheryl and Rich were wonderful and patient with me throughout the case. All of my questions were answered. They really helped me through this tough time and made sure to let me know what was going on. I really thank Geoff…

    Troy Saxby

    My experience with GMA staff was first rate. They always represented in a professional way and made sure I had everything as far as paperwork. Kara and Theo made sure to answer all my questions, was always available and so…

    Shirley Brown

    Geoff McDonald & Associates is the team that you want on the field if you’re in need of top notch legal defense! Mr. Taj Henley demonstrated true customer service skills and his expertise made me feel comfortable throughout the…

    Julian Reeves

    Geoff McDonald & Associates: Thank you Taj Henley for all of your hard work and dedication! Very expeditious in my case and I was very satisfied with my settlement. Will recommend to all my friends and family!

    Shareema Williams

    Geoff is number one in my book and I especially appreciate the support of Mr Henley

    Ebony Conwell

    I was so pleased with the knowledge and support from Mr. Taj Henley

    Kideem Frierson

    Thank you Geoff McDonald &Associates. A special thank you to Mr. Taj Henley

    Denise Conwell

    Mr. Taj Henley displays exceptional professionalism for Geoff McDonald & Associates, along with commendable communication skills and customer service. By his work ethic and commitment to the people he serves his value to any…

    Justin Fitzgerald