Nearly 315,000 car crashes occur in Michigan, and almost 42,000 of those happen right in Oakland County. Most drivers are responsible and realize or at least accept their responsibilities during and after an accident. But according to AAA, more than one hit and run occur per minute nationwide. And non-motorists aren’t safe considering 65% of those fatalities were bicyclists and pedestrians. Hit and runs are serious and are tried as such in a court of law even if the flight instinct takes over and you attempt to make amends. Fortunately, there are just a few things to remember in the event you’re ever involved in one–regardless of who’s at fault.
Never Leave the Scene of an Accident
If you’re involved in a car accident in any way, leaving the scene can lead to some serious charges on your end. Leaving the scene of an accident you’re involved in is a legal offense that can bite you in several ways. Hit and run accidents involving just property damage or injuries can result in a misdemeanor charge, jail time, a fine, and driver’s license suspension. Whereas, a hit and run that results in a fatality can result in a felony charge, up to 15 years in jail, and fines of up to $10,000. So avoid unnecessary criminal charges and stay put even if someone else hit you or another driver and ran.
Act Fast and Document the Details
If everyone is OK and someone is in the car with you, have them try to take pictures of the car as it’s driving away. If you’re alone and physically able, try to do so on your own. Even without pictures, write down what you can recall about the make and model of the vehicle, description of the driver, which direction they headed after driving off, and any witnesses and recaps on their end. If able, take pictures of your vehicle inside and out–wherever damage occurred, especially at the point of impact. Include any pictures of other vehicles involved and property damage.
Report the Accident
Assess driver and passenger injury status inside the vehicle. Then call 911 or the local police department to report the accident. Once the police and EMTs arrive, get names, badge numbers, and pertinent information of the authorities and medical team. Exchange contact information, insurance info, and witness testimonies with any other people outside of your vehicle who were involved in the accident. Get a copy of the accident report.
Contact Local Businesses
Once the accident is fully reported and you’re cleared to leave, contact local businesses that are open at the time or make a plan to contact them during business hours. Employees and customers may provide critical information as witnesses to the accident. But even if personal accounts aren’t available, security footage may provide authorities and your Michigan Car Accident Attorney with enough of the missing puzzle pieces to not only catch the assailant but get any injuries and damage covered so you can get back on the road again as quickly as possible.