Hit and runs are one of the worst types of accidents for victims. Tracking down the at-fault party to hold them accountable for your injuries can be very challenging. A Washington D.C. hit and run accident lawyer can work with you to help ensure you obtain the compensation you deserve. Contact May Lightfoot, PLLC, online or by phone at (202) 919-6463 for a free consultation to discuss your legal options.
Why Choose Us?
- We believe each client’s unique situation requires attention and a personalized approach to find solutions that help you move forward.
- We guide our clients through the entire legal process through effective communication and continuous contact.
- Your goal is our goal, and we will not settle for anything less than the compensation you deserve.
Why You Need a Lawyer after a D.C. Hit and Run Accident
The best course of action following a hit-and-run accident in Washington D.C. is to hire a personal injury attorney. That way, you have someone on your side from the beginning and helping to investigate the case. An experienced hit-and-run accident lawyer will look for witnesses to the incident to help determine and find the at-fault party. They will also help you navigate the claims process and deal with the insurance companies on your behalf.
Hit and Run Laws in the District of Columbia
Under the law in the District of Columbia, a hit and run is a criminal offense. If the party that leaves the scene of an accident is ultimately discovered, they will face jail time up to 180 days and a fine of up to $1,000 for a first offense. A second offense carries a penalty of up to one full year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. The only possible excuses a person could have for leaving the scene of an accident is that they believed they were in danger and called 9-1-1 immediately after, or they had no knowledge of being involved in an accident.
What To Do After a Washington, D.C. Hit and Run Accident
If you are hit by a vehicle, and they do not stop, you may be left in a state of shock. However, what you do next can impact your claim for compensation. Here are the next steps:
Call the Police
Notify law enforcement right away any time there is a hit-and-run accident. They will start an investigation and utilize their resources to locate the driver as quickly as possible, so they can be held responsible. Even if the police fail to identify the motorist involved, their arrival at the scene will help with uncovering other evidence that you could have missed or been unable to collect.
Unless you require urgent medical attention, try to stay at the scene and take photos of as many details about the accident as you can, including the damage, your resulting injuries, and the entire scene. Write down any information you can about the vehicle.
Speak to Witnesses
If anyone witnessed the crash, ask for their contact information and if they will make a recorded statement.
Seek Medical Attention
Seek medical attention as soon as possible, even if your injuries seem minor. Your health and safety are the number one priorities, and getting checked out will also provide documentation to establish the injuries you have are related to the hit and run.
Report the Accident to Your Insurance Company
An insurance adjuster will help you begin the process of filing a claim. Washington, D.C. is a no-fault district, which means your auto policy will help cover the accident under your personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. PIP can help cover medical bills and a portion of lost wages. However, you may be responsible for a or multiple deductibles if the at-fault driver is not found.
File a Claim Against the At-Fault Party’s Insurance Company
If the at-fault driver is identified, you may step outside the confines of the no-fault system in D.C. if your losses meet one or both of these thresholds:
- Your claim (the cost of medical expenses and loss of income for your injury) exceeds the limits of your PIP policy.
- If your injuries include significant permanent scarring, disfigurement, impairment, or total impairment lasting 180 days or more.