Attorneys in South Africa will tell you that a hit and run is a criminal offence. In an accident if injury or death occurs, or property is damaged, the driver of the car must do certain things.
The driver must stop their vehicle and ascertain if any injuries have been caused, and if damage has occurred. They must report the accident. If it is not possible to report the accident immediately for some reason, they must do so at a police station within 24 hours. They must provide assistance to the injured, and if they cannot or do not know how, they must obtain help. They must also remain at the scene of the accident until a police officer advises them that they can leave. Failure to do these things is unlawful. It is clear that a hit and run is an offence, but how does that help you if you are the victim?
What can you do if you are injured in a hit and run accident?
In South Africa, attorneys can submit a Hit and Run Claim, or you can do so yourself, to the Road Accident Fund. The conditions of a Hit and Run Claim include that the accident occurred in South Africa, it involved a motor vehicle, and an unidentified individual who was negligent or broke the law caused it. In a Hit and Run Claim you can claim for general damages where serious injury has occurred, past and future medical expenses, and past and future loss of earnings.
How to claim
Whilst it is possible to submit a claim by yourself, it is recommended that you appoint a lawyer for your Hit and Run Claim. A Hit and Run Claim is complicated and it is best that someone who understands this complexity handles it. You only have one opportunity to claim for your accident and the settlement amount is final. It needs to be done properly to ensure that you have the best chance of a fair outcome. Paul du Plessis Attorneys specialise in Road Accident Fund and personal injury claims. Call these attorneys in South Africa today for assistance with your claim.