You don’t know how you will respond to a stressful situation until you find yourself in it. People often panic when something unexpected happens, which is why there are laws about how to handle car crashes.
Ohio requires that drivers stop and report the collision to local authorities if there is property damage or injury to the drivers involved. Every driver should learn about the legal obligation to stop when they study for their driver’s license. Knowing the rules will prevent panic from influencing someone at the scene of a crash.
Unfortunately, some people will still drive off after they cause a collision, possibly because they don’t have insurance, don’t have a license or have a warrant out for their arrest. How do you pay for your expenses after a hit-and-run crash?
You start by reporting the wreck
To have any chance of getting compensation for a hit-and-run crash, a driver will need to report the collision to the police. Police officers can check traffic cameras and look into the case, potentially helping to locate the other driver. Even the information you provide them about the make, model and color of the vehicle could help them find the driver or vehicle involved in the crash.
If the other driver gets caught, the state could charge them with a first-degree misdemeanor offense. The penalties for leaving the scene of a crash include up to $1,000 in fines and as long as six months in jail. If you or someone else got seriously hurt, driving off turns into a fifth-degree felony. If the police locate the other driver, you can make a claim against their insurance and possibly file a civil lawsuit against them because of the crash.
What if police don’t find the driver?
Unfortunately, some hit-and-run collisions go unsolved. Police officers cannot find the individual responsible, which means you cannot make a claim against their insurance. You might be able to make a claim against your own uninsured and underinsured motorist protection or collision coverage after a hit-and-run crash. You may also be able to use your MedPay coverage for any medical costs incurred by you or the passengers in your vehicle.
Knowing the rules that apply to Ohio hit-and-run crashes can help you seek compensation and justice after a collision.