What if You Don’t Know The Identity of the Other Driver?

Hit and Run

If you were in an accident caused by a different driver, then you are entitled to compensation from that driver. However, it is not unheard of for the responsible party to flee the accident to avoid being held responsible. Do you know what to do if this happens to you? The thought of having to pay for damages to your car and hospital bills out of your own pocket is daunting. This guide will provide you with everything you need to know.

The Discovery Rule

The law surrounding car accidents makes an exception for cases where the identity of the responsible party is unknown. This is called the “Discovery Rule.” It essentially states that the statute of limitations does not begin until the identity is discovered. The statute of limitations is the time limit you have to file a lawsuit. If the amount of time determined by the statute of limitations has already passed, then any lawsuit you file will be thrown out. With the discovery rule, you do not need to worry about how long it takes to discover the identity of the responsible party. The discovery rule also applies to delayed discovery of injuries.

What To Do

If you are in an accident and the other party refuses to stop or speak with you, then this is what you should do:

  1. Seek medical attention for any injuries.
  2. Take note of any identifying details that you can. Catching the license plate of the other car is ideal, but if you cannot get that, then the make, model, and color of the car still goes a long way. It is also beneficial to have information about the other driver, such as their sex, race, height, hair color, or accent.
  3. Speak with any witnesses of the accident. Someone else may have caught a few digits of the license plate or details you might have missed. If anyone saw anything, get that person’s contact information.
  4. Contact the police. It is a crime to leave the scene of an accident without providing contact information. The police will be able to help you discover the identity of the individual.
  5. Contact your insurance provider. You should communicate with your insurance provider through the entire process.
  6. Contact an auto accident attorney in Indianapolis, IN. This should be the first thing you do if the identity of the other driver is discovered, but it may be wise to do this even earlier. Chances are quite good that this situation will end in a lawsuit, which you will need a lawyer for.

Thanks to Ward & Ward Law Firm for their insight into personal injury claims and what to do if you don’t know who the other driver is in your car accident.