If you are the victim of a hit-and-run car accident in Lancaster, you likely have many questions about who caused the incident and why they decided to flee the scene. You may also be wondering how you will pay for medical bills or outstanding property damage.

An experienced motor vehicle attorney at McDonald Law could answer your questions and advise you on your options for collecting damages. Do not hesitate to contact our office for further information.

What are Hit-and-Run Accidents?

Some incidents are clear hit-and-run accidents. If a lawyer can demonstrate that a driver knew they had struck another person, car, or property and did not stop to help, hit-and-run case rules apply.

Some situations can be more ambiguous. For example, if a driver stopped to help after causing a minor collision but did not provide the victim with insurance details or contact information, hit-and-run rules may or may not apply.

Title 75 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes §3744 states that drivers involved in car accidents resulting in injury or property damage must:

  • Stop their vehicle at or near the scene of the incident
  • Provide victims with their contact information
  • Assist anyone injured in the collision to the best of their ability

Drivers involved in an accident must follow these actions even if they hit an unoccupied vehicle. Motorists who fail to adhere to these guidelines are likely violating the law. A skilled Lancaster attorney could help determine whether an incident is a hit-and-run and advise on the next best steps to take.

Handling a Hit-and-Run Accident

Determining next steps after a hit-and-run can be a challenging process. Victims or witnesses should not chase after a fleeing driver since this could result in further injury. Instead, anyone remaining at the scene should seek medical attention for their wounds.

Afterwards, the victim of the incident should gather witness accounts and contact a local attorney to help collect evidence. Thanks to modern technology, some witnesses might have used their smartphones to capture footage of the crash. Local businesses or residences may also be willing to share security camera recordings. Meanwhile, bystanders might be able to remember details about the fleeing vehicle, such as make, model, or color.

Anyone near the scene of the collision should try to take pictures of the fleeing car. Photo and video evidence of the hit-and-run car crash scene could be invaluable to law enforcement officials or an attorney.

Reporting Hit and Run Accidents

Title 75 Pa. C.S. §3774(b) states that if law enforcement is not able to respond to an accident quickly, drivers must report the incident within 5 days. Collisions that result in death, injury, or substantial property damage must be reported. Victims or witnesses can submit accounts using Pennsylvania’s Department of Transportation form AA600.

Penalties for Leaving the Scene of an Accident

Title 75 Pa.C.S. § 3742(b)(3) explains that the penalties for leaving the scene of a vehicle incident in Pennsylvania can vary, depending on the severity of collision. Even if a fleeing driver did not cause injuries or property damage, they can still face up to $2,500 in fines and a year in prison.

If the accident did cause injuries, the fleeing driver could face felony charges. The guilty party might be required to pay a minimum of $1,000 in fines and could be sentenced to a maximum of seven years in prison.

If the collision resulted in death, the hit-and-run driver might be charged with a 2nd-degree felony. This verdict requires three to seven years in prison and the payment of a $2,500 fine.

Recovering Damages from a Hit-and-Run Accident in Lancaster

The victims of a hit-and-run accident may be entitled to financial compensation through insurance policies or other means. If the driver who fled the scene cannot be identified, a victim can file a claim with their insurance company. Systems such as no-fault insurance, MedPay, uninsured motorist (UM) coverage, and personal injury protection can help a wounded person recover damages from an irresponsible driver. A knowledgeable local attorney at McDonald at Law could advise on pursuing compensation for a hit-and-run through the appropriate system.

Contact a Lancaster Attorney for Hit-and-Run Assistance

Vehicle crashes can be traumatic, especially when a reckless driver flees the scene of the incident. If you are the victim of a hit-and-run car accident in Lancaster, you may be entitled to financial compensation. An experienced lawyer at McDonald at Law could help you compile evidence, file your insurance claim, and collect damages.

Reaching out for legal assistance immediately after a hit-and-run could boost your chances of a successful outcome. Do not hesitate to contact our Lancaster office today for further information.

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