Involved In a Hit and Run in Ontario?
Hit and run accidents are more common than what people realize. While we all want to think that honesty is going to win out in the end, many people who are involved in a hit and run accidents simply leave the scene and never speak of what happened again. It leaves the victims feeling even more alone and if the hit and run involved a bicyclist or a pedestrian, it can mean dealing with injuries for the rest of their lives.
For drivers of vehicles, they need to remember that a hit and run is against the law. When you hit someone or even a car, the law requires that you stop and stay at the scene until the authorities arrive or the driver and you exchange insurance information. You are responsible for what damage is caused! But, what happens when you are the victim of a hit and run? While there are several types of hit and runs, we are going to focus on those associated with pedestrians.
What to do When You’re Involved in a Hit and Run?
The scenario is that you are walking across the street, you have the right of way and then out of nowhere, a car hit you. For a split second you are lying on the ground and then you hear the car speed away, tires squealing. Unfortunately, this is a stereotypical scene when talking about a hit and run. How should you respond? Here are some steps that you can take if you become the victim in this situation.
- If you are not too hurt, try to read the license plate on the vehicle that has driven away. If you are unable to get this information, and there were other people standing around, ask them if they saw the license plate number. If not, at least have a physical description of the car. This could be helpful later.
- Be sure that someone has called 911. You will want to get checked out by a medical professional to ensure that there are no hidden injuries. Remember, it is extremely easy for someone to get a traumatic brain injury when they are hit by a car and come into contact with the pavement. Even if you feel you are okay, it is better to be safe than sorry.
- The police will start to collect reports on what happened and talk to any witnesses. Be sure that you provide the police with everything that you remember happening, what you were doing while you crossed, if you crossed when you should have, and other important information of this nature.
The Role of the Police
In a hit and run accident, the police are going to be fully involved in this process. A hit and run is a serious offense that can result in time spent in jail. The law states that any driver needs to:
- Remain at the scene of an accident or immediately return
- Render any assistance possible
- Give information to the police or the victim involved
- Report any personal injury to the police
Police will try to find ways to determine who the driver was that was responsible for the hit and run that affected the pedestrian. They may use eyewitness reports and the license number that someone found and look up this vehicle and who it is registered to.
If this information is not available, if this was a busy intersection with local businesses around, it could be that the car was caught on security footage that can help to identify who was driving. Just know that the police are going to be doing everything in their power to bring this person to justice.
How You Can Prevent a Hit and Run
While you cannot control the drivers around you, you can do things that are going to help prevent you from being involved in a hit and run! Here are a few rules to remember while walking around:
- Always be sure to cross where you are supposed to. Use crosswalks as most drivers are going to be paying better attention when they come to these locations.
- Be sure to only cross at a crosswalk that gives you the clear sign that it is time to walk across.
- Even if you have the signal that you can walk across, be sure to look both ways to determine if traffic has stopped. If you feel that a car is coming on too fast, it is best to wait than try to cross and end up getting hit.
- Do not be walking with your head looking down at your cell phone or another electronic device as this is going to distract you from paying attention to your surroundings.
This is a Personal Injury
When you have been hit by a car, this is a personal injury that could result in significant damages. For example, there are those who are hit by cars and end up with broken backs and lifelong problems. There are those who end up with traumatic brain injuries.
Cars are thousands of pounds that are hitting someone who is a few hundred pounds. The damage that this can do is traumatic. For those who walk away with a scratch and some pain, they need to consider themselves lucky.
Those who are responsible for a hit and run will be punished by the law. However, what about you, the victim? This is when victims need to consider what their options really are.
They have two: they can let the legal system give punishment and the insurance of the responsible party pay for their injuries or they can get a lawyer who is going to fight on their behalf.
When you work with a lawyer, you are going to find that they are going to get more than simple medical expenses paid for the victim. They can also try fighting for:
- Emotional damages that have occurred as it could be that you are afraid to walk down the street or suffer from some sort of PTSD due to this accident.
- What about the effect on your family? Perhaps you were the breadwinner in the family and now this is affecting the entire family and their way of life. This is also something that a lawyer can work on for you.
- If you are having to have someone stay with you due to these injuries, what about the cost of caregivers?
These are all issues that a personal injury lawyer can work with you on and ensure that you get what you deserve.
If you have been the victim of a hit and run, Conte Jaswal are here to help you get what you deserve. The statute of limitations for these types of accidents is 2 years. Therefore, if you feel that you deserve more than what you are getting or want more justice, call us today for a free consultation so that we can see how we can help you!
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