Contact us for a video consultation

PHONE: 803.799.7900

logo new

PHONE: 803.799.7900

What to Do After a Hit-and-Run Accident in Columbia, SC

February 9, 2023

: Car Accidents

hit and run in SC

If you’ve been involved in a hit-and-run accident, it’s important to know what to do. Hit-and-run accidents are more common than you might think, and the consequences can be serious for those involved. 

Hit-and-run accidents occur when one driver hits another, then leaves the scene without stopping to exchange information. If the driver who hit you fled the scene without stopping to help or identifying themselves, it’s best to seek legal assistance as soon as possible.

Common Types of Hit-and-Run Accidents in Columbia, SC

There are several different types of hit-and-run accidents that can occur in Columbia, SC, or elsewhere in the state.The most common type of accident is when a driver hits a pedestrian and leaves the scene. This can result in severe injury or fatality for the person hit by the car.

Another common situation is when two or more vehicles collide, and one driver leaves before authorities arrive on the scene. 

Consequences of Fleeing the Scene

If someone is involved in an accident and flees the scene, it is a criminal offense (under South Carolina Code 56-5-1210 & -20) – which carries a maximum jail sentence of one year and a fine of up to $5,000, if physical injury occurs. When there is great bodily injury or death involved, it is a felony and carries up to ten years (great bodily injury) or twenty-five years (death). Further, fleeing the scene   may also be a factor in punitive damages being awarded in a civil lawsuit.

Even if your injuries are not severe enough to require medical attention immediately, you should call 911 to report that you’ve been involved in an accident so that law enforcement officers can find out what happened and who was responsible.

What to Do After a Hit-and-Run Accident in SC

Assess the Situation

When you are involved in a hit-and-run accident, there are things that you can do to help yourself. First and foremost, assess the situation.

  • Is there any damage to your vehicle or other property?
  • Are there any injuries involved?
  • Are the injuries serious or minor?
  • Does anyone need medical attention?

You should also check on other people involved in the accident. Try not to be confrontational at this point; instead, focus on collecting facts about what happened so that you can report them later if necessary (and if possible).

Another important thing is getting a description of the vehicle(s) involved: the license plate number and  make, model, and color. If possible, try to get a description of the other driver(s), such as gender, race, height/weight, etc., so that police officers can use this information when completing their investigation.

Call the Police

When you call 911, tell them what happened and report any injuries. Request police assistance and EMS, if necessary, and provide your name, address, and phone number.

If you are involved in a hit-and-run accident, it’s also vital to collect witness information and take photos of the scene. You should also photograph any damage to your vehicle, as well as any injuries sustained by you or others. Ask  the witnesses if they  have any additional information or details you may not have seen or know.

Seek Medical Attention

If you or someone else is injured, request an ambulance or get a ride to the emergency room or doctor’s office as soon as possible. You should get checked out by a medical professional because your injuries may be worse than they first appeared since you still have adrenaline flowing through your body. You should also get x-rays, if necessary, and follow up with law enforcement or emergency medical personnel to include any injuries sustained in their reports..

Call Your Insurance Company

After you have spoken with the police and received medical attention, you should call your insurance company. Tell them what happened and ask for an adjuster to come out and review any damage to your vehicle.

You also are usually entitled  to  a rental car if your vehicle is a total lossor if it’s going to take some time to fix. Your insurance company will be essential in this process if the other vehicle(s) is never identified or if it turns out it was a stolen vehicle.

Contact a Personal Injury Attorney at Bernstein & Bernstein

As you can see, many factors play a role in handling a hit-and-run accident. The most important thing is to be proactive, assess the situation, and call the police. After that, you should contact your insurance company to report the wreck and provide the information you have about the vehicle that fled the scene. 

Although no legal settlement or judgment can change what has happened to you, it can help you get back on your feet and focus on moving forward with your recovery. That’s why the experienced team of car accident lawyers at Bernstein & Bernstein is committed to helping our clients locate offenders and hold them accountable. To learn more about how we can help, call us today or contact us online.

Schedule a Meeting

To schedule a free initial consultation (now by video), complete the form below: