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Street Takeovers and Reckless Driving: What to Do if You Are Injured

| Category: Car Accidents | June 28, 2024

In recent years, there has been a sharp increase in “street takeovers” and similar incidents involving people driving recklessly. This can include racing, driving at extreme speeds, burnouts, and even evading the police. Legislators have stiffened penalties for such behavior and have vowed to crack down on people who drive with such disregard for the safety of others. 

Unfortunately, many of the people who engage in this behavior will go to great lengths to avoid responsibility for their actions. In addition to evading the police, they will remove the license plates from their vehicles and take other steps to hide their identity. In some cases, they may be driving unlicensed vehicles or motorcycles, and their driver’s licenses may be suspended. In the event of an accident, it is highly likely that they will flee the scene. 

If you have been injured in an accident caused by one of these drivers, you, therefore, face additional challenges that may not be present in other cases. To protect your rights, the best thing to do is contact an experienced car accident attorney as soon as possible. 

Reach Out to Witnesses

Police arrive only after the driver or drivers who caused your accident have fled the scene. As a result, they may have very little evidence that can help identify the driver or drivers responsible. And while the police will do their best to investigate the accident, they may not conduct as thorough an investigation as you may need. To that end, you should contact any witnesses to the accident and ask them to provide any information that they can to help identify the people responsible. This could include the make and model of the vehicle, its color, and any identifying characteristics, such as stickers or modifications. 

It can be difficult for a single witness to capture all of these details. As a result, you shouldn’t hesitate to contact every person who witnessed the accident. Together, they can substantiate important details that can help identify the driver if you are otherwise unable to. 

Stay in Contact with The Police

“The squeaky wheel gets the grease,” as the saying goes. While you don’t want to harass or annoy the police, respectfully following up with them will help keep their attention on your case. You can also share whatever information you have gathered and stay abreast of any new evidence that the police have obtained. 

Document Your Claim

As with any other personal injury claim, you want to make sure that you have the evidence you need to prove your case. To that end, you want to document every aspect of your claim, including the following: 

  • Keep copies of your medical bills and records
  • Keep a copy of the police report
  • Document your lost wages
  • Keep receipts for any expenses you have incurred as a result of the accident
  • Photograph your injuries and damage to your vehicle
  • Keep a journal of how your injuries affect your everyday life

In general, you want to have all of your information in order to ensure that you can present a strong case in the event that you decide to pursue a claim. 

Potential Insurance Issues

It may come as no surprise that drivers who engage in this type of behavior often have no insurance, even if you can identify them. As a result, your options may be limited for recovering compensation. You can still pursue a claim against the other driver, but they may not have the financial resources to compensate you for your losses. 

If you have uninsured or underinsured motorist insurance (UM/UIM coverage), this can help. In this situation, your insurance coverage may pay your claim up to your policy limit. However, be aware that your insurance company may not willingly pay all of the compensation you are entitled to. An experienced car accident attorney can help you pursue your claim if you have UM/UIM coverage. 

Your Personal Injury Claim Is Separate from Criminal Charges

It is important to understand that criminal charges against the driver are independent of any claim that you may have for compensation. Even if they are convicted, they may not be required to pay any compensation for your injuries and other losses. For this reason, you may need to pursue a separate personal injury case, even before the driver is convicted. 

Contact Car Accident Attorney Tom Pyles Today 

At The Law Offices of Thomas E. Pyles, we have been helping injured motorists get the compensation they deserve for over 30 years. If you have been injured in a car accident, contact us today by calling 301-705-5006 to schedule a free consultation.