Under Louisiana law, drivers must remain at the scene of an accident if the accident causes damage to property or injures anybody. All other states have similar laws, which make it a crime to leave the scene of an auto accident before authorities can arrive to get more information and to help any injured people. Of course, not everyone follows the law and hit-and-run accidents do occur in New Orleans and in other parts of the state.
If a person is the victim of a hit-and-run accident, they should follow a few pieces of advice to handle the situation. First, the victim should remain at the scene of the accident and call for help. Although it can be tempting for hit-and-run victims to try to chase after the perpetrator, this is not a smart idea because it could lead to another accident.
Another important step following a hit-and-run accident is for the victim to try to get as much identifying information as possible about the fleeing driver. This means writing down a description of what the driver looks like, if the victim was able to see the driver at all. If the victim was unable to get a glimpse of the driver, they should try to catch as much of the license plate as possible and commit that to memory. At the very least, it can be helpful to authorities to get a description of the make and model of the vehicle that left the scene.
In addition to identifying the fleeing driver and car, it can be equally important for hit-and-run victims to talk to any witnesses at the scene of the accident. A witness may be able to fill in any missing information and the victim should take down their information in case they need it for future legal proceedings.
It is also important for a person involved in a hit-and-run accident to contact their insurer as soon as possible. Moreover, reaching out to an attorney is a good idea if the insurance company refuses to pay or offers an amount that is not sufficient to cover the victim's medical expenses or any other damages.
Hit-and-run accidents can unfold very quickly. If people keep a few key points in mind, they can be as prepared as possible to handle the immediate aftermath of this kind of accident.
Source: FindLaw, "5 Things to Do When You're a Hit-and-Run Victim," Stephanie Rabiner, Accessed on May 6, 2015