How Often Do Police Find Hit-and-Run Drivers?

Posted in Car Accidents on October 4, 2018.

It is against the law in Alabama to leave the scene of a car accident without stopping. Drivers have a duty to immediately stop, remain on the scene, and administer assistance before lawfully leaving the scene of an Alabama car accident that causes injury, death, or property damage. Striking an object, vehicle, or person and fleeing the scene is a “hit-and-run” crime in Alabama.

Becoming the victim of a hit-and-run can leave you with questions about who will pay for your damages. If another driver struck you and ran, file a car accident claim with the police, the Alabama Department of Motor Vehicles, and your insurance company as soon as possible. Then, get an attorney’s help with your accident claim while you wait for the results of an investigation.

Measures Police Can Take to Find a Hit-and-Run Driver

Police officers have tried-and-true methods of finding hit-and-run drivers whenever possible. The moment you call the police with your complaint, they will act to preserve any available evidence from the scene of the collision. There may be a key piece of evidence – such as surveillance footage – that helps catch the person guilty of hitting you and fleeing.

The following evidence may be available to help a hit-and-run investigation:

  • Police will ask around the area to see if anyone witnessed the accident. Shoppers in a parking lot, other drivers in the area, or pedestrians may be able to give descriptions of the vehicle or driver that struck you.
  • Vehicle or property damage. Oftentimes, a vehicle leaves paint behind on an object or vehicle it strikes. Police may be able to use this information, and the extent of the damage, to find a vehicle fitting the right description nearby. Photographs of the damage may assist in the search.
  • Surveillance footage. It’s possible that a close-by business caught the entire incident on video. Visiting local businesses in the area can result in footage that shows the type, color, or even license plates of the vehicle that hit you. Footage of the accident may also be available from witnesses who were taking cellphone videos, or from dash cam footage.

Sometimes, police officers will release the story to the news to uncover more information about the case. This is most common in accidents that cause serious injuries or deaths. Television and social media can spread the word about the accident and increase the odds of someone coming forward with important information. Alabama law enforcement will be as thorough as possible in a hit-and-run investigation, taking immediate action to catch the perpetrator.

Hit-and-Run Case Success Rates

The more serious the victim’s damages, the greater likelihood of case resolution. Police, crash investigators, insurance companies, and attorneys will spend more time, effort, and energy on hit-and-run accidents that cause catastrophic or fatal injuries than those involving minor property damage. Although it’s impossible to predict the success of your individual hit-and-run case, know that you may have better odds of identifying the at-fault driver if you suffered serious injuries. Your odds can also improve if you hire an experienced car accident attorney.

A lawyer can pressure police into dedicating more resources to solving a hit-and-run case. A law firm may also be able to put its own investigators on the case, improving the chances of finding the culprit. A lawyer can also seek compensation for a victim outside of holding the at-fault driver liable. For instance, it may be possible for the victim to hold the city at least partially responsible for poorly designed roadway infrastructure. It’s also common for victims to obtain compensation through their own insurance companies, if they have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. Even if police never catch your hit-and-run driver, you may still recover compensation with help from a lawyer.

For more information on your best legal options in a hit and run accident, contact our office to discuss the details of your case over a free consultation.