Upon being involved in a car accident, it is customary to pull over to the side of the road; exchange contact information with the other driver; and wait for a law enforcement officer to arrive. So you may feel like you are in a helpless situation when the other driver immediately speeds away. Continue reading to learn why a driver may flee the scene of your accident and how an experienced Tampa car accident lawyer at Merricks Law Group, P.A. can support you during this difficult time.
What may a driver flee the scene of my accident?
Being involved in a car accident may be an overwhelming experience. So, a driver may enter “fight or flight” mode and impulsively drive away. However, this is not an adequate excuse, as it is ultimately illegal to flee the scene of an accident. With that being said, below are other explanations as to why a driver may have fled the scene of your accident:
- A driver may be under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- A driver may not have state-enforced auto insurance.
- A driver may be using the vehicle without permission, or it is otherwise stolen.
- A driver may be transporting illegal drugs or goods.
- A driver may be in this country illegally.
- A driver may have an outstanding warrant for their arrest.
- A driver may have a significant amount of unpaid traffic tickets.
What should I do if a driver fled the scene?
For your safety, you must not chase down a driver as they are fleeing the scene. This is because your car may have incurred damages that now make it unsafe to operate. What’s worse, the driver may be a dangerous individual that you do not want to interact with. Overall, it is against the law to do so.
Instead, it may be in your best interest to take the below approach:
- Quickly snag a picture or jot down the other car’s identifying characteristics (i.e., make, model, color, license plate number, dents or scratches, bumper stickers, tinted windshields, etc).
- Quickly snag a picture or jot down the other driver’s identifying characteristics (i.e., sex, race, skin color, hair type/color, clothing type/color, etc).
- Dial 911 and inform the dispatcher of these identifying characteristics, along with which direction the driver was heading.
- Speak with a law enforcement officer once they arrive at the scene and inform them of these identifying characteristics, along with the events that led up to your accident.
- Speak with present witnesses at the scene who may have gotten a better look at the other driver/car and the direction they were heading.
You must take the initiative and reach out to a skilled Tampa auto accident lawyer at your earliest possible convenience. Our team at Merricks Law Group, P.A. will be happy to serve you.