A hit-and-run incident can be terrifying to deal with. This type of accident leaves you not only dealing with it but also injured and alone. With little information about the other driver, it can be hard to identify the person at fault.
It may be easy to assume that a hit-and-run may not be solvable. Thankfully, that is not always true. Working with an Atlanta hit-and-run accident lawyer and an investigator, you can work towards building a strong case.
Gathering On-Scene Evidence
When investigators arrive, their first priority is to secure the area and make observations before anything gets moved or altered. They will identify and document skid marks, fluid trails, debris, and the position of any vehicles involved to piece together how the crash occurred. Interviewing witnesses and victims right away allows details to be captured while fresh in people’s minds.
Investigators thoroughly photograph all damage to vehicles and surroundings from different angles under various lighting. These images can provide critical visual evidence of what transpired for later analysis and court exhibits. Officers also look for any traces of physical evidence that the fleeing vehicle may have left behind, such as paint scrapes, broken parts, or body damage like dents.
Other evidence is collected to help identify the at-fault driver and vehicle. This may include fluid samples, cell phone records, security camera footage, custom car parts, or personal items dislodged in the collision. An attorney can use all these investigative details to build a stronger claim for full compensation.
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Checking Nearby Traffic Cameras
Investigators also use traffic camera footage from intersections and roads around where the hit-and-run took place. The traffic cameras snap a photo of the license plate numbers of each passing vehicle. They can access this information at any time, making it easier to pinpoint who was in the area.
The investigators will review camera records from the estimated time of the collision and look for cards with a matching vehicle description. If a plate is spotted, they can run the numbers to identify the vehicle’s registered owner. From there, they can track where the person lives and take further action.
Sometimes people flee an accident because they were driving under the influence and do not want to get arrested. Other times, the person may panic and just take off. Thankfully, a traffic camera can help detect driving under the influence.
Contacting Local Repair Shops
A hit-and-run driver is most likely going to have some damage to the car. Whether it’s minor or severe damage, there is bound to be some sort of scuffs or damage. If spotted, it may be easy to pinpoint.
It is important to check with auto body shops in the area and ask them to be on the lookout for any suspicious repair jobs that could match the description of what happened. Matching a freshly damaged car part to the crash can offer a breakthrough in finding the individual responsible for the incident. Sometimes this is the only way to find clues with a hit-and-run.
Spreading the word to local mechanics through community alerts or social media can also help widen the search for the damaged vehicle. The more eyes there are looking for evidence, the better your chance of uncovering new information. Persistence and teamwork with businesses in the area may finally lead to the identity of the at-fault driver.
Asking for the Public’s Help
Usually, when something serious like this happens, it is not uncommon for an entire town or neighborhood to participate. Residents in the area can help keep a lookout for the car and/or person. If the injured individual still at the scene has any description, the public can help more easily.
Thankfully, with the rise of people on social media, all it takes is one post, and numerous people can share it. This type of post does not take long to go viral in a neighborhood. It can be a worthwhile option.
Local news stations may also run stories bringing awareness to the hit-and-run and asking viewers to call in with any information. The more widely the vehicle or suspect description circulates, the higher the chances someone spots something. Having a community behind finding justice for the victim is something that usually helps cases because many people are always willing to be on the lookout for help.
Sometimes Rewards Need to Be Offered
There are some cases where some people just do not want to share what they saw. If there are no leads or the case is not progressing, sometimes rewards are offered. Even if the witness is initially reluctant, a reward usually gets them to come forward.
Another reason witnesses may not want to come forward is that they do not want to be involved at all. Sometimes if you offer confidentiality, they are more likely to cooperate. On any signs or posts you make, mention that confidentiality is a guarantee.
The reward amount offered should be substantial enough to motivate people to get involved despite hesitation. Publicizing the reward on flyers, social media, and news outlets casts a wide net for potential witnesses. Providing a dedicated tip line also makes it easier for witnesses to safely come forward with information that could lead to identifying the at-fault driver.
Consulting Accident Reconstruction Experts
In some cases, a highly-trained reconstruction specialist can analyze physical evidence to conduct a simulation to deduce crash dynamics. The simulation will include speed and vehicle movements. The expert’s testimony has a positive impact and should be incorporated into your case.
A reconstruction expert can catch details that the police report may have missed. It is not uncommon for police to miss some details about your case. Having the simulation can help.
When you present this to the insurance company or jury, it will be easier for them to see the accident played out. A hit-and-run case is complex, but having things put into a visual form can significantly help. Hiring a reconstruction expert could be the major shift to your case to make it strong.
Seek Justice with a Georgia Hit and Run Accident Attorney
A hit-and-run accident can make victims feel defeated, but you still have options. An experienced Georgia hit-and-run lawyer understands these complex cases and can strategize the best path forward. Though the driver fled, investigators have more tools than ever to ultimately identify perpetrators.
Many people in past similar positions have gone on to successfully recover damages with legal guidance. Do not lose hope or think you have to handle this alone. Contact us for a free consultation.