Hit-and-Run Car Accidents in Ohio: Steps to Take When the At-Fault Driver Flees

Being involved in a hit-and-run car accident can be an incredibly stressful and frustrating experience. Not only has your vehicle been damaged, but the at-fault driver has fled the scene, attempting to evade responsibility. If this occurs in Ohio, there are important steps you should take to protect yourself, document the incident, and try to identify the fleeing driver. A Cincinnati car accident attorney can help you fight for fair compensation after experiencing a hit-and-run collision.

Call the Police and File an Accident Report

First things first, notify the local police that a hit-and-run accident has taken place. Be prepared to give them descriptions of the fleeing driver and vehicle, the location and time of accident, and a recap of events leading up to the collision. If there were any witnesses, gather their contact information to share with the officers as well. The police will create an official accident report documenting the incident. Make sure to obtain a copy of this for insurance and legal purposes.

Document the Scene Thoroughly

While waiting for the police to arrive, do your best to carefully document details at the accident scene. If it is safe to do so, take photos capturing damage to vehicles and surroundings, skid marks on the roadway, debris scattered around, or any other evidence that could be useful for identifying the at-fault driver later. Be sure to photograph license plates of involved vehicles. Jot down specifics in writing as well before the scene is cleared.

Seek Medical Care Even for Minor Injuries

Don’t decline medical treatment at the scene simply because your injuries seem insignificant. The adrenaline in your system may be masking serious issues that need medical care. Even if the emergency personnel clear you, follow up with your doctor just in case. Getting checked out promptly can help substantiate any claims if injuries worsen later on.

Contact Your Insurance Provider Quickly

Notify your car insurance provider about the hit-and-run incident very soon after it occurs. There may be time-sensitive reporting requirements outlined in your policy. Provide all documented evidence you gathered to help demonstrate that you were not at fault. Your insurance should cover damage repair costs if uninsured motorist coverage protections are in place.

Attempt to Identify the At-Fault Driver

Hit-and-runs involving only property damage are misdemeanor offenses in Ohio. But if a driver knew or should have reasonably known that personal injury or death occurred, fleeing is considered a felony. This makes it imperative to try identifying the at-fault motorist. Review photos and videos for identifying specifics on the car and/or driver. Canvas nearby properties or businesses for security footage that may have captured the incident, fleeing vehicle, or license plate number. Reporting this information to authorities may lead to prosecution.

Being the victim of a hit-and-run accident in Ohio can leave long-lasting effects, especially if the at-fault driver is never identified. Following these steps helps protect your legal rights and ability to recover damages. Alert authorities, meticulously document evidence, promptly contact your insurer, and make efforts to identify the fleeing motorist. Taking these measures aids the best possible outcome going forward.

We have offices in 32 locations and 19 states, including Ohio, Tennessee, and Maryland. Call now for a free consultation on (888) 477-0597 if you’ve been involved in an accident with a driver that flees the scene.