Baton Rouge, LA – When a person is involved in an accident, then they drive away without making contact with anyone they can be arrested. Unfortunately for the accident victim, this may also make the process to file an insurance claim and receive compensation more difficult, especially if the person cannot be located. There are some steps the driver should take to maximize their chances of success.
Penalties for leaving the scene
Louisiana treats the crime of leaving the scene of an accident more seriously than many other states. There is a mandatory license suspension for the suspect until the case ends with a disposition or dismissal. If there were fatalities or serious injuries, the suspect may lose their driving privileges permanently. All drivers who illegally leave the scene of an accident can be fined up to five hundred dollars, or they may spend as much as six months in jail. The penalties increase if the person was drunk at the time of the crash, or if they cause any kind of injury or serious harm to others and drive away.
Contacting the police
The drivers involved in a car accident should contact the police after any accident involving injuries or property damage, and this is also true if one or more cars involved have left the scene. The victim should give a description of the vehicle to the police to start the process of an investigation and create a report of the incident. They may also give instructions on how to receive updates on the case and see if the driver was ever located.
The insurance provider should be notified after any accident, even if the other party cannot be located. It may be difficult for the victim to receive any insurance claim money unless they have purchased uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, which is not required by law. The insurance company should give specific instructions regarding how they handle claims related to drivers who have left the scene.
The possibility of a civil lawsuit
All drivers who are at fault for an accident can be sued in civil court as well, even if they are charged criminally for their actions during the same incident. The victim can add up their medical costs, lost wages, and other types of losses and try to make the person responsible pay through a settlement or jury trial.
Help from experienced accident lawyers
Miller, Hampton, and Hilgendorf is a personal injury firm in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Accident victims can speak with their attorneys to decide if a lawsuit is necessary and learn more about the process to receive compensation.
Firm contact info:
3960 Government St., Baton Rouge, LA 70806