Hit-and-run accidents leave victims devastated as the driver involved in the collision heartlessly flees the scene, abandoning them without any aid or exchanging information. The consequences of such accidents are severe for the victims, and they face huge challenges afterward. Since the responsible driver doesn’t take responsibility, the victims must deal with physical injuries, emotional trauma, and financial problems independently.
These affected individuals must seek justice and compensation to cope with the aftermath of these unfortunate incidents. That’s why law enforcement works hard to help the hit-and-run victims get the support and compensation they deserve.
What Are the Psychological Effects of Being in An Accident?
Accidents can cause severe injuries that change lives. Besides physical wounds like broken bones, accidents, such as car crashes, can also lead to emotional and psychological injuries in victims. In Canada and other provinces, victims can seek compensation for the psychological effects of accidents.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
PTSD can happen after seeing or experiencing a traumatic event, like a vehicle accident. About 9% of car accident survivors in Canada suffer from significant PTSD symptoms, including fear, anxiety, nightmares, and difficulty sleeping. Children involved in accidents may have prolonged PTSD, lasting over a year. Treatment usually involves psychological therapy and sometimes prescription medications.
Depression and Anxiety
The emotional impact of the accident and related injuries can lead to feelings of hopelessness, withdrawal, and even suicidal thoughts. Shock after the accident can become anxiety, causing trouble concentrating and lethargy, often requiring professional treatment and medications.
When accidents cause long-term physical injuries, survivors may face a diminished life. Permanent injuries such as traumatic brain damage, paralysis, and scarring can hinder a victim’s ability to enjoy life fully, impacting daily activities, hobbies, and independence.
Psychological Injuries (For Children)
Children who survive accidents are especially vulnerable to psychological injuries. Their young and impressionable minds can suffer lasting harm, affecting their current and future lives. After a serious accident, a child victim may experience various types of long-term emotional trauma and related symptoms, such as outbursts, tantrums, aggression, trouble concentrating, sleep problems, loss of appetite, poor school performance, mood swings, and changes in behavior or personality.
It is also common for child victims to regress after an accident. For instance, a child who develops PTSD from a car accident might start wetting the bed or sucking their thumb again, even after having outgrown these behaviors. Phobias and emotional trauma related to the accident could hinder a child’s ability to fully enjoy and participate in life. In such cases, psychological therapy can be beneficial in helping a child overcome the emotional injuries caused by the traumatic accident.
Role of Personal Injury Service Edmonton
Law enforcement in Edmonton plays a critical role in hit-and-run investigations, as officers are responsible for gathering evidence, conducting interviews, and identifying the responsible driver. Their prompt response and dedication are vital in building a strong case and providing closure to the victims.
To solve hit-and-run cases successfully, collecting evidence is essential. Law enforcement must thoroughly document the accident scene, gather surveillance footage, and interview witnesses. Valuable evidence, such as skid marks, debris, and vehicle parts, can aid in reconstructing the incident and determining fault.
Collaboration with legal experts, particularly experienced personal injury lawyers, significantly enhances hit-and-run investigations. These lawyers provide insights into legal strategies, advise on evidence collection, and represent the victims’ interests in legal proceedings. Their expertise is invaluable in ensuring that victims receive the compensation they deserve.
Witness cooperation is also necessary in hit-and-run cases. Encouraging witnesses to come forward and share any information they may have about the accident and the fleeing driver can significantly aid law enforcement in their investigation. Community outreach and awareness campaigns can play a role in promoting witness cooperation.
Victims of hit-and-run accidents should seek legal representation to protect their rights and interests. A skilled personal injury lawyer can assist in navigating the legal process. With law enforcement and legal experts working together, hit-and-run investigations can bring justice to the victims more effectively.
Report a Claim for Minor Hit-and-run Accidents
When you drive in Canada, you must follow certain rules and restrictions. Even after getting your license and understanding the road regulations, you should be ready for unexpected accidents that happen every day.
If you’re in an accident, you must inform your insurance company and, in many cases, the police. The guidelines may differ depending on your location, but it’s a good idea to be prepared to make the necessary calls in any situation.
When to Report a Hit-and-run Accident in Canada?
Not all accident scenes get a visit from the police, so contacting them after a collision is not always necessary. However, there are certain situations when you must call the police right away:
- If the vehicle damage exceeds the regional threshold (e.g., $50,000 plus in Alberta), you should call the police.
- If anyone gets injured in the accident.
- If there are potential Criminal Code violations, like drunk driving.
- If a government car is involved in the crash.
- If the vehicle is carrying hazardous materials.
- If a pedestrian or cyclist is involved in the accident.
- If either of the drivers refuses to cooperate or leaves the scene.
You might be unsure whether to call the police after an accident, especially if estimating property damages is challenging. But it’s a wise choice to report the accident. The authorities can handle it. You can call your local police from the accident scene to report the incident and ensure everyone’s safety.
Importance of Timely Reporting of Incidents
Timely reporting of incidents in hit-and-run investigations is essential for building strong cases for the victims for several reasons:
Fresh evidence and witnesses: The sooner an incident is reported, the more likely it is to obtain fresh evidence and identify potential witnesses. As time passes, memories fade, physical evidence may disappear or deteriorate, and witnesses may become harder to locate. Timely reporting increases the chances of obtaining accurate and reliable information, making it easier for law enforcement to reconstruct the incident and identify the responsible party.
Immediate medical attention: In hit-and-run cases, victims may suffer from serious injuries requiring immediate medical attention. Prompt reporting ensures that emergency services are dispatched quickly, potentially saving lives and preventing further harm.
Faster response and investigation: Law enforcement agencies can respond more quickly to a reported incident, increasing the likelihood of capturing the suspect before they have a chance to flee or hide evidence. Swift investigation also increases the chances of recovering valuable clues such as surveillance footage, vehicle debris, or eyewitness accounts.
Public assistance and awareness: Timely reporting can increase awareness of the incident. If the community knows about the hit-and-run, they may be more likely to come forward with tips or information to aid the investigation. Public assistance is invaluable in solving hit-and-run cases as it expands the pool of potential witnesses and leads.
Emotional and psychological support for victims: Reporting the incident promptly allows victims and their families to access emotional and psychological support services quickly. Dealing with the aftermath of a hit and run can be traumatic, and timely reporting can help victims begin the healing process and receive the necessary support.
Preserve evidence and scene integrity: Reporting the incident promptly enables law enforcement to secure the scene and preserve critical evidence before it gets compromised or contaminated. Properly preserved evidence can establish liability and ensure a fair investigation and trial.
Legal time constraints: In many jurisdictions, there are legal time limits within which a hit-and-run incident must be reported to law enforcement. Failure to report within the designated timeframe may result in the loss of certain legal rights for the victim, such as the ability to file an insurance claim or pursue compensation from the responsible party.
If alcohol is discovered to be involved in a hit-and-run accident where the suspect fled the scene to avoid detection for drinking and driving, resulting in injury or death, the sentence would be harsher than if the driver left due to panic.
The severity of the punishment also considers how the accused was driving during the accident. If a disability contributed to the crash, it might be a mitigating factor, but if alcohol were part of the equation, the penalty would be much harsher. The accused’s criminal history is also considered, and professional criminal defense lawyers can help investigate and present the client’s past through psychiatric evaluations.
Being accused of a hit-and-run offense is a serious matter that will be pursued relentlessly in court. If you are facing such an accusation, seeking immediate assistance from an expert criminal lawyer is essential. Defending yourself in court is not advisable for this kind of offense. With the help of hit-and-run lawyers, you can protect your rights, seek the best possible resolution, and work towards getting your life back on track.
A hit-and-run accident can occur in a parking lot when someone collides with another car’s bumpers and leaves the scene without a note. Even minor instances like this are considered hit-and-run offenses. While the law treats such cases the same as more severe accidents,remember that the consequences can be much more severe for leaving the scene of an accident, even if it happens in a parking lot.
Police often suspect drivers involved in such incidents may have been intoxicated, especially if the collision happens late at night or early in the morning. Simply damaging another vehicle or failing to leave a note after causing damage can be considered a hit-and-run incident.