How to respond in the event of a hit-and-run accident?

What is a hit and run?

In the event of a material or physical traffic accident, all drivers involved must stop and exchange contact information. One hit and run in car consists of fleeing after surrendering responsible for an accident on the public road.

It is simply defined by article L434-10 of the Criminal Code such as the fact of “not stopping”, with the aim of escaping criminal or civil liability (payment of a fine, compensation to victims, etc.).

Moreover, the offense is even more serious if it is accompanied by no help to the person in danger, when the accident caused bodily harm. Case law states that this offense is constituted when the fleeing driver leaves the victim no way to contact him again.

All drivers of motor vehicles can be guilty of a hit-and-run, but the offense can also be held against e.g. a cyclist and more generally towards everyone vehicles subject to the Traffic Act.

After an accident, the opposite driver flees: how to react?

If you are a victim of a hit-and-run traffic accidentit is first necessary to question the potential witnesses to the disaster.

The goal is to gather as much information as possible about the fleeing driver (vehicle type, number plate, etc.).

Then you have 5 working days to :

  1. Write an amicable report by providing all information regarding the sequence of events and the damage suffered.
  1. File a complaint about X, although the prosecution is unlikely to succeed. Keep the receipt for the filing of the complaint to attach it to your statement of loss.
  1. Report your car accident your insurance by attaching your receipt, your accident report and proof of the accident (statements, photos, etc.).

Victim of a hit and run on a parked car: what to do?

  • If a third party hitches your vehicle in a parking lot, he will commit a hit-and-run offense by leaving without appearing, but will not be guilty of it if he goes to the trouble of put a note on your windshield with their contact information.
  • In the event of a collision, we advise you to contact the parking attendant (if it is private and supervised) regarding gather information about the unknown driver.

What are the penalties for the perpetrator?

Hit and run is severely punished by law (Article L.434-10 of the Criminal Code and Article L231-1 of the Motorway Act). You incur up to:

  • 3 years imprisonment
  • 75,000 euros fine
  • 6 points less on the driving licence

Depending on the seriousness and complexity of the claim, additional fines apply, such as confiscation of the vehicle, revocation of the driver’s license or the obligation to perform community service.

On the insurance side, a hit and run causes immediate and unilateral termination of your car contract. You are then listed in AGIRA file which shows all car insurance cancellations. Being registered with AGIRA makes it difficult to take out a new insurance company.

If you are not terminated, your insurance probably will be increase your insurance premium by 100% for 2 to 3 years as well as significantly increase your deductible.

In the event of a proven hit-and-run, you are actually considered a risk profile by your insurance company.

What compensation from the car insurance in the event of a collision?

In a car accident where the person responsible is not identified, it can Guarantee fund for compulsory insurance (FGAO) can cover compensation for victims under conditions.

Compensation for material damage

The replacement conditions vary depending on whether:

  • The at-fault driver has been identified : the opposite driver’s liability insurance covers all your material damages under his civil liability.
  • The at-fault driver has not been identified: Material damage is only compensated if you have all-risk car insurance or third party plus insurance with damage cover. With third party insurance, damage to your vehicle is not covered.

Compensation for bodily injury

If the at-fault driver is identified, his liability coverage allows you to receive compensation.

In the case where the driver remains unknown and that you are only insured against third parties, then within 3 years of the loss you can submit a compensation claim to the guarantee fund for compulsory damage insurance (FGAO).

The foundation will investigate your case and offer you compensation, which you can freely challenge at the high court.

By being insured against all risks or by an intermediate third party with individual accident coverwill you be compensated by your insurance.

How do you deny a hit and run?

You have been wrongfully accused of a hit-and-run ? Don’t panic, it is quite possible to contest this charge.

To help you in your steps, it’s a matter of calling one traffic lawyer as well as collecting all the necessary evidence to demonstrate your absence from the scene of the accident.

In addition, it is also necessary to claim prove your guilt to the insurance company that issues the fee: photos, videos, testimonials…

Be careful because you also need to prove that you have not loaned your vehicle to anyone.

In addition to the steps already taken, request one expert report to confirm that your car is not the cause of the accident for which you are charged.

published by Emily – Up to date

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