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A hit and run occurs when a driver leaves the scene of an accident without offering assistance, identifying himself or herself, or exchanging insurance information. These criteria apply to both the victim and the perpetrator of the accident. Hit and run accidents can involve other vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians, and fixed objects like light poles and buildings. Both victims and perpetrators can face serious consequences as a result of a hit and run accident.

Losses Caused By Hit and Run Accidents

Besides possible injury and property damage, hit and run accident victims may deal with financial consequences. Medical and therapy bills, loss of income, and the cost of repairing or replacing vehicles or other property can be devastating. After the hit and run driver is found, most car accident lawyers can investigate the accident which may lead to the perpetrator being held responsible for his or her actions.

Why People Commit a Hit and Run

Drivers run from accident scenes for a variety of reasons. Maybe they are driving under the influence, have a suspended license, are driving a borrowed vehicle, or don't have insurance. However, by running from the scene, they only compound those problems with the addition of criminal charges. These charges can lead to loss of license, heavy fines and even jail time depending on the severity of the circumstances

If You're in a Hit and Run Accident

Whether you're the victim or the perpetrator of an accident, in most states you have a duty to give information and render aid. Common obligations when involved in any kind of vehicle accident are to stop your vehicle, exchange identification and insurance information with the other party involved, contact law enforcement, and assist any injured until help arrives. Failure to do so can leave you in legal jeopardy.

Always Do the Right Thing

If you are a new driver or simply unclear on what to do when involved in an accident, contact your automobile insurance agent as soon as you open the vehicle insurance policy. They will instruct you in the proper procedures required by your state that you are obligated to follow after an accident. Whether you're the victim or the perpetrator, don’t make an already difficult situation worse by running from the accident scene.