License Plate Numbers: A Major Equalizer in Hit and Run Cases
In August 2015, WSOC TV reported the continued surge of hit-and-run accidents in North Carolina. As of the date of that report, the state saw 4,100 accidents since the beginning of the year, including 13 fatalities. State Troopers cited the biggest challenge in finding the drivers that cause these accidents as the failure of victims to record full license plate numbers.
Our Charlotte hit-and-run lawyers agree that license plate numbers would make the greatest difference in solving these cases. However, we also understand that many victims are in no position to obtain this information. By retaining composure, however, it is possible to handle hit-and-run accidents effectively.
Both Injuries and NC Law Can Prevent the Capture of License Plate Information
All too often, pedestrians become victims of hit-and-run drivers. Since they generally sustain severe injuries, they are often in no position to record license plate information or even make a mental note of it. Vehicle passengers are not immune from serious injuries, either. Considering that many hit-and-run drivers are also drunk and operating at high speeds, major collisions can leave victims seriously injured and incapable of collecting evidence after a crash.
It is also important to note that NC is one of a handful of states that does not require front license plates. This reduces the opportunity to see license plate numbers in some cases.
When Possible, Hit-and-Run Victims Should Respond Quickly and Thoughtfully
Barring severe injuries, hit-and-run accident victims need to keep their wits about them to protect their rights as much as possible after a collision. Despite the rush of adrenaline and feelings of frustration, it is important for victims to know in advance how to handle these accidents. The following tips should help:
- Call 911. Even if no emergency medical attention is required, police reports are required in order for victims to file claims. Such reports often contain vital details that others at the scene do not notice.
- Look for identifying clues. Obtaining all or a part of the license plate number is best, but even if a license plate number is not visible, the make, model or color of the vehicle can help. Note the direction the vehicle traveled after the accident and try to look at the driver to determine sex, as well as note a hat or other distinctive clothing.
- Obtain witness information. Anyone who saw the accident can provide important information. Try to obtain contact information from anyone at the scene and ask witnesses to remain on the scene until police can talk with them.
- Carry the right insurance coverage. NC law requires all motorists to carry certain levels of auto insurance, including uninsured motorist coverage, which covers certain levels of injuries and other damages from accidents caused by uninsured and underinsured drivers. Hit-and-run drivers fit within this classification.
Certainly becoming victim to a hit-and-run driver is a frightening and confusing experience. Even individuals who do everything correctly may have legal options that they do not recognize, which is why a no-cost initial consultation with an experienced hit-and-run attorney is so important. Call us at 800-948-0577 or use our convenient online contact form for the guidance needed to recover from this experience as quickly as possible.