If I committed a hit and run, how long will it take for the police to find me?
A few minutes ago you were involved in a car crash in which you know you are 100% at fault for the accident. Unfortunately, you are uninsured, or your driver’s license is suspended or you are driving under the influence.
Your gut feeling tells you to flee the accident scene for fear of being accused of many cases. Yes, you managed to escape, but do you really think the police will ever find you? if yes what are the odds of getting found and arrested?
If you committed a hit-and-run how long will it take for the police to find you? And, what are the possible charges of hit and run offenses? well, read on to find out, and how you should handle the situation after a hit and run.
What is a hit-and-run accident?
Hit-and-runs occur everywhere and on every highway or street. A hit and run is a type of offense where one of the drivers that are a party to the car crash flees the scene without sharing contact information or rendering help to the injured.
According to my study findings, there are more than 700,000 hit and runs in the USA yearly. In the UK, the Motor Insurers’ Bureau, the body that compensates victims of uninsured drivers is reported to be dealing with more than 16,000 hit-and-run cases yearly.
According to traffic laws, any driver that is involved in the accident is mandated to stop at the accident scene and do the following.
- Share contact information.
- show proof of insurance coverage.
- Share your car license plate number, and show your driver’s license and any other information.
- Render help to the injured for instance arranging for transportation to the hospital.
Failure to observe the above-mentioned implies committing a hit-and-run offense. If there is sufficient evidence against you, you could soon be battling charges of misdemeanor or felony depending on where you live.
For example. According to Mississippi Hit-and-Run Laws, if you fled the accident scene in which there were bodily injuries, your penalties include 3 months to 20 years in prison. You could also be asked to pay $100 to $10,000 depending on the severity of the injuries.
Common Types of Hit-and-Run Accidents
Hit-and-run accidents differ depending on the parties to the accident and where the crash took place. Below are 5 common types of hit-and-run accidents you need to understand.
1. Pedestrians hit and run. This refers to a car hitting a person walking on the street but the driver flees the scene without rendering help to the injured pedestrian.
2. Bicycle hit and runs. These types of accidents occur when a car hits someone riding on a bicycle but the driver flees the scene without sharing his contact nor rendering help to the injured cyclist.
3. Car to car hit and run accidents. This involves 2 moving cars. For example, one car rear-ends another car but any of the drivers flees the accident scene without sharing contact information.
4. Parking lot hit-and-run car accidents. These are the commonest hit and runs but fortunately, many of them are classified under minor cases. For example, one driver could damage another parked car in the lot and refuses to leave behind any note.
5. Other hit-and-run accidents involving stationary objects (e.g. light posts, buildings, etc.)
Another categorization of hit-and-run car accidents involves whether you committed a minor or major hit-and-run offense. For example, a minor hit and run involve only minor injuries or only car damages.
On the other hand, a hit and run where there were severe injuries or deaths are classified as a major hit and run, and the penalties of a major hit and run are so severe compared to minor cases.
What Should You Do After a Hit-and-Run Accident?
It is a requirement by law that every driver reports a car accident to the authorities irrespective of the severity and within a certain time frame.
Do the following after you have had a hit-and-run accident.
1. Call 911 if any person is injured, otherwise ensure your safety and of any of your passengers.
2. Park your car in a safe location if it is impeding traffic. You do not want to cause more crashes.
3. Next gather as much information as possible (e.g. license plate number, vehicle description, etc.)
4. Invite police to complete a car accident report. This police crash report will help you later if you need to file a hit-and-run lawsuit or in case you are seeking compensation from the insurance company.
5. Take photos of the damaged car, accident scene, and any bodily injuries.
6. Call and notify your insurance company to kick-start your compensation claim process. You must report the accident to the insurance company within the agreed timeframe as stated in your policy.
7. Seek medical attention. What you must know is that the amount paid to you as your compensation settlement largely depends on your medical bills.
What To Expect as a Victim of a Hit and Run?
Hit and runs are completely different from other collisions because most likely you will have no concrete evidence to hold liable the responsible driver.
Below is what to expect as a victim of a hit and run.
1. Just like in other car accident collisions, hit and runs cause lots of physical and emotional trauma.
2. You will face insurance claim difficulties because of a lack of evidence. Your insurance company may not trust you once you say you had a hit and run.
3. Worries of ever finding the hit-and-run offender. In fact, most cases of hit-and-runs are unsolved. According to various police reports, only 8-10% of hit-and-runs are solved.
4. Difficulties in receiving compensation. It is estimated that the largest percentage of people who commit hit-and-runs have no insurance coverage or have insufficient coverage. This implies your chances of getting compensated are slim.
5. Increased insurance rates. Some insurance does not care if you were the at-fault driver or not. They will increase your rate just because you were involved in the accident or because of your claim.
6. It’s hard to provide evidence to the police and proves it to the insurance company since the other driver flees the scene and you have no good information about him/her.
7. You will have difficulty in paying damages and medical expenses since there is a high likelihood the responsible driver will never be caught.
Processes Following a Hit and Run
Though not all car accidents occur similarly, there are simple things you must do after any hit-and-run accident.
For any hit-and-run offender to be found and apprehended, it will depend on the pieces of evidence or any other information you provided to the police.
The most important pieces of evidence for successfully pursuing any hit and run are witness statements, license plate number information, car registration, and being able to describe the car by color, model, and make.
It’s therefore your duty as the hit-and-run victim to ensure that enough evidence is gathered soon after the accident to help police investigate and hold the offender liable for your losses.
How Long Does a Hit-and-Run Investigation Take?
How long it takes for police to investigate a hit-and-run depends on many factors.
For example, if you had a minor case of hit and run, police won’t waste their resources and time investigating such cases unless the evidence is very clear.
On the other hand, if it’s a major case of hit and run, expect the police to aggressively investigate the case. In fact, police will keep such cases forever open meaning that there is a chance of catching the offender even after many years.
It also takes police a shorter time to catch hit-and-run criminals if there is much information at hand and clear evidence pinning the perpetrators.
Here is an example. Keneth committed a hit-and-run along Washington Interstate 5. ‘I was sure no one saw me after I hit a pedestrian because I did not stop at the scene”, said Keneth.
“I was surprised that police were able to locate and find me within 7 days”, added Keneth. According to Keneth, police were able to find him with the help of the footage from a nearby surveillance camera.
“It actually takes hours to days for police to find hit-and-run criminals if there is sufficient evidence and leads, but there is at least 90% likelihood of never finding hit-and-run drivers”, said Adam, a police officer.
How Long After a Hit-and-Run Will the Police Contact You?
There is no specific timeframe in which police will contact you after committing a hit-and-run.
For instance, Police contacted Keneth within 7 days of committing the crime just because there was clear evidence from the car accident footage police obtained from a nearby surveillance camera.
Once there is enough evidence and clear leads, police will contact you in the first 48 hours after a hit and run. But of course, this depends on how busy is the police and the workloads at their disposal.
How Does Police Find a Hit-and-Run Driver?
There are many ways police use to find the hit-and-run driver. For example, police will rely on the information and evidence provided while hunting for the driver.
Information provided by eyewitnesses, crash footage, photos taken, debris, etc helps police in looking for and catching the hit-and-run driver.
How to Help in the Hit-and-Run Investigation Process
Below are ways how you could help in the hit-and-run investigation processes.
1. You must provide a detailed description of the driver and the car. Without such information, expect no investigations to take place.
2. You must provide information about the direction in which the driver was heading to.
3. You must report any license plate numbers and distinctive markings of the car.
4. Provide police with names and contact information of people who witnessed the car accident.
5. Provide photographs or any video footage of the hit-and-run accident. Remember Keneth was caught with the help of the accident footage.
6. Finally, you must cooperate with the police and insurance investigations.
What Happens If the Other Driver Is Never Apprehended?
From reliable sources, only 10% of hit-and-run drivers are caught and cases solved. This is because there is a likelihood of getting the required pieces of evidence.
If the other driver is never apprehended, the hit-and-run victim option is to get compensated by their own insurance company. You will need to file your settlement claim against collision insurance coverage or uninsured/underinsured motorist policies.
I recommend you hire a car accident attorney to help you explore your legal options and also negotiate a settlement on your behalf. It is not easy to deal with insurance companies and it’s even complicated with hit-and-run because you lack the required evidence.
what evidence is needed to convict a hit-and-run?
A hit and run are usually filed to courts of law as a civil case though this depends on the gravity of the case at hand. Just like any cases pursued in courts of law, the plaintiff needs strong pieces of evidence to pin the at-fault driver.
For example, the following are pieces of evidence that are needed to convict a hit-and-run driver.
1. The plaintiff must provide photos and or footage of the hit and run. You could use your phone to capture the required photos of the accident.
2. If there was significant contact between the vehicles, the paint of the other car could act as good evidence too.
3. Skid marks of the other car.
4. You must also provide eyewitness testimonies to the authorities. You also must provide their contact information in case authorities want to speak to the witnesses later.
5. Car accident police report. This helps to solve liability issues by providing both facts and opinions about the hit and run car accident.
6. Testimonies from expert witnesses like Doctors that treated you after the hit-and-run crash.
7. Medical records and Bills. This proves you suffered personal injuries due to the hit and run.
8. Lost wages if you intend to file a settlement claim for your damages.
I committed a hit and run how long will it take for the police to find me UK
UK traffic laws differ from the USA. But all in all, how long it takes for police to find you depends on the information police have about you.
In the UK, it could take hours, days, or months for the police to find and charge you for the hit and run.
I committed a hit and run how long will it take for the police to find me California
California is not a no-fault state. This implies that the car accident victim must be compensated by the party responsible for causing the accident. In the hit and run case, you must provide enough information to enable police to look for the at-fault driver.
In California, it can take hours or days for police to find the hit-and-run driver. On the other hand, expect the police to take months or years to find the hit and run driver if there is no concrete pieces of evidence.
I committed a hit and run how long will it take for the police to find me ohio
Just like California, Ohio is a fault state. The driver that is responsible for causing the accident has to compensate the other party that suffered injuries and losses.
Following a hit and run, the victim should endeavor to gather enough information about the other party to enable the police to successfully pursue the at-fault driver.
If the victim knows the license plate information, car color, model, and make, it typically takes hours or days to find the driver that committed a hit and run. Otherwise, it could take years or forever to find the criminal.
I committed a hit and run how long will it take for the police to find me nj
New Jersey is a no-fault state. Assume drivers A and B were involved in an accident, each of the drivers should first seek compensation from their own personal injury protection (PIP) before going after each other’s insurance coverage.
For example, it’s mandatory for both drivers A&B to carry PIP in New Jersey. Driver A is allowed to go after driver B only when the losses suffered by A exceed his policy limits.
For instance, if driver B committed a hit and run by injuring driver A, the driver will need to seek compensation from their own PIP up to his policy limits. This implies that there is no need of hunting down driver B for compensation unless the damages exceed insurance (PIP) policy limits.
Should damages exceed policy limits, driver A has a right to report driver B. If there is sufficient evidence, it will take police in NJ only hours or days to find driver B.
I committed a hit and run how long will it take for the police to find me Ontario
Just like New Jersey, Ontario is a no-fault state. If you suffered a minor hit and run where your PIP limits do not exceed the losses you suffered, there is no need of hunting down the at-fault driver.
According to many police reports, police do not usually seriously investigate minor hit-and-runs because they expect such cases to be handled by insurance companies, more especially in no-fault states like Ontario and New Jersey.
With sufficient pieces of evidence and clear leads, it takes hours, or days for police in Ontario to catch the hit-and-run driver.
In conclusion, committing a hit and run is a serious crime and has serious consequences. If you are involved in one, it’s important to understand that the police will likely make every effort to track you down.
The extent of the accident, the number of witnesses, and the caliber of any evidence left at the site are just a few of the variables that will affect how quickly the police are able to locate you.
Ultimately, cooperating fully with the police inquiry and surrendering to them is the wisest course of action. It’s never too late to make the proper decision and take ownership of your behavior.