Car accidents are stressful events, particularly when the accident has caused property damage or personal injury. And a car accident can quickly turn significantly more stressful if one of the drivers leaves the scene. These types of accidents are called “hit-and-run” collisions.

In Georgia, all motorists are required to carry auto insurance, and after an accident, the at-fault driver’s insurance company can cover expenses for the injured parties to the crash. Depending on the scale of the accident, drivers might simply exchange contact and insurance information, as it is critical for each driver to know about the other’s coverage.

During a hit-and-run collision, however, the injured party does not have that opportunity to exchange information. In most cases, the person left at the scene will know almost nothing about the other driver, save perhaps a vehicle description. What options does this person have?

People involved in hit-and-run crashes in Georgia need to contact local law enforcement immediately. Police officers in Georgia are experienced in accident cases involving people leaving the scene, which means they know how to track people down. Authorities may be able to investigate the matter by interviewing witnesses, collecting evidence, gathering any available surveillance photos or video, and distributing the information they learn as widely as necessary to bring justice to harmed individuals.

The first people police officers talk to after hit-and-run accidents are the victims, so it is important for people left at the scene to document whatever they can remember about the crash and the missing vehicle or driver. Any photos and written documentation victims can collect will assist officers in starting their investigation. If you have been involved in a hit-and-run collision and law enforcement has been unable to identify or apprehend the suspect, do not panic. If you carry uninsured motorist coverage on your auto insurance policy, you can likely still assert a claim.