In recent years, we have seen a giant influx in the number of hit and run accidents we see across the United States. In 2018, the number of hit and run incidents reached a record high across the nation, with over a 60% increase in the total since 2009. Sadly, across our nation, we have also seen a 7.2% increase each year in the number of fatal hit and run incidents since 2009.
In Utah, we have laws in place that specifically make it a crime for a person to engage in a motor vehicle accident and flee from the scene. Unfortunately, no matter how many laws are in place to protect victims, individuals continue to engage in this dangerous, reckless, and illegal behavior every day.
Sadly, if you are the victim of a hit and run incident, the negative consequences can spill over to you. If you are the victim of a hit and run accident, it is crucial to contact a Utah personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Our reputable Utah accident injury attorneys at Siegfried & Jensen help hit and run accident victims navigate through the process and receive the compensation they deserve, regardless of the complications. Anyone involved in a hit and run accident should follow the guideline established below in order to make sure you remain safe and protect your legal rights.
Prioritize Your Safety Above All Else
Before you even consider the financial elements surrounding your incident, it is crucial to make sure you and everyone else in the vehicle are safe and unharmed. If possible, move your vehicle to a safe place along the shoulder of the roadway. Be sure to call 911 and request the police department to respond to the scene. If anyone is injured, let them know that you may need first responders at the scene as well to provide medical attention or transport injured parties to the nearest hospital.
Seek Medical Attention
If anyone in the vehicle is injured, even if it is minor, they will need to get medical attention. Even help from a first responder is adequate in some situations. It is crucial to begin documenting any injuries, especially since minor injuries can turn into major problems later on. This is particularly true in cases where victims sustain whiplash injuries or injuries to their backs. Reporting symptoms immediately is critical.
If anyone in the vehicle refuses medical attention, it is crucial to have this documented as well. In other cases, you will need to document the types of medical attention received, if any medication was given, and write down the information of the first responder who provided the treatment and conducted the assessment.
Cooperate With Those Responding To The Incident
Although the aftermath of a motor vehicle accident is often overwhelming and completely stressful, it is crucial to cooperate with first responders and all law enforcement officials. You will need to take any medical care recommended and comply with their requests. Do not speak with anyone other than first responders or police officers about any sensitive details of the scene.
Establish Adequate Documentation
It is crucial to write down everything you can. You will want to write down any details from the other vehicles that you can remember. Knowing the make, model, and color of a vehicle that fled the scene after a hit and run, or even the driver, can help law enforcement track down the responsible party quicker and easier. Write down the dates, times, and as many details as you can. Even if you feel like information is not important, or you believe you will remember it later, you still need to write it down. It may not be significant in the long run, but it is better to be safe than sorry.
Dealing With The Finances Of A Motor Vehicle Accident
If you were injured in a car accident caused by a negligent or reckless driver who fled the scene of the accident, it is crucial to give law enforcement some time to locate the responsible party. You will be able to seek medical treatment as soon as possible, if necessary. In Utah, drivers are required to have Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage in their auto insurance policies. This type of coverage provides some coverage for medical treatment, lost wages, and other damages resulting from an automobile accident. These benefits are extended from the driver to any passenger in the vehicle. Each person is entitled to the maximum amount. For example, if PIP coverage provides up to $3,500 for medical treatment, each person in the vehicle can get $3,500 coverage.
After law enforcement locates the responsible party, you can then move forward to dealing with the insurance company of the at-fault party. Working with a skilled Utah car accident attorney will ensure you are able to obtain full and fair compensation for your injuries and damages.
How A Utah Accident Injury Attorney Can Help You
If you were injured in a hit and run accident, it is crucial for you to take the steps necessary to protect your legal rights. Working with a skilled and knowledgeable accident injury attorney in Utah will ensure you perform all the tasks necessary to document and track all of the injuries and costs incurred from your accident.
Our Utah personal injury attorneys at Siegfried & Jensen have helped accident victims since 1990 collect the maximum amount of compensation for their claims. We have helped over 35,000 accident victims across our state collect more than $850 million in damages. We work diligently to ensure the rights of victims are protected so they can focus intently on their recovery without worrying.
If you were injured in a hit and run accident, contact our law firm at (801) 845-9000 to schedule a free case evaluation. You can come into any of our four conveniently located offices in Utah at your earliest convenience to discuss what legal options are available for your case. Don’t wait, call now.