Marietta Hit & Run Accidents
A hit and run accident is a nightmarish event to live through, both because of any injuries that might happen and because of the knowledge that someone did not care enough to stop and help you after being hurt. If you have experienced a hit and run crash in Georgia, you need to know what options you have in terms of seeking compensation, as many questions can come up after this type of accident.
Negligence Can Kill
Hit and runs are seen as very serious offenses in Georgia, worse than standard accidents because the act of leaving the scene before ensuring everyone’s safety implies a recklessness or negligence that the state wants to punish. For example, if you are severely injured and the other driver just leaves the scene, you could perish from those injuries due to medical care coming too slowly. That negligence may be actionable if you are able to prove your injuries stem from the defendant’s actions.
It can seem impossible to file suit for your injuries if you do not know who struck you, but it is generally likely that the vehicle will be found, either in the short or long term. People who commit hit and run are likely to make more mistakes in the future, given their apparent lack of care for the motorists who share the road with them. Either way, it is a good idea to look into filing suit once they are located, so that you have the best chance to recover for the medical bills you are no doubt accruing.
Civil & Criminal Charges
Hit and run accidents are somewhat unique in terms of personal injury cases, because they can give rise to both a civil trial – should the injured party choose to sue – and a criminal trial. In Georgia, a hit and run is a crime, because it is seen as a citizen committing a wrong against society, rather than an incident between two people. If someone leaves the scene of an accident where death or serious injury has happened, they can be charged with a felony, carrying a fine and a prison sentence of between 1 and 5 years.
This can create confusion for a lot of injured plaintiffs, because many think that one cannot bring a civil suit against someone who is also being charged with a crime – they may believe that filing suit would be a second prosecution for the same crime and thus trigger double jeopardy (which is barred under the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution, and under Georgia state law). This is not the case at all, because a civil suit is not the same as a criminal prosecution, and also, if a civil suit were barred in any instance where someone was charged with a crime, that would leave a lot of cases where the injured plaintiffs would have no way to recover.
Call A Marietta Hit & Run Accident Attorney Today
Any car crash can be traumatic, but if you have been the victim of a hit and run, you may have even more issues to contend with during your recovery. You need an attorney on your side who understands what you are dealing with and who will fight for you – the Marietta car accident attorneys at The Strickland Firm are happy to try and assist you. Call our offices today for a free consultation.