Chris and James Welsh of Welsh & Welsh
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How Long Does a Hit-and-Run Investigation Last?

Published on Aug 14, 2018 at 12:27 pm in Car Accidents.

Unfortunately, hit-and-run accidents are more common than we’d like to think. When these crimes are solved, the guilty party is often found to have been under the influence of alcohol or drugs. It’s also likely they panicked and simply left the scene. When these crimes go unsolved, the victim is often left confused and worried about proving their claim to an insurance provider.

While there is no specific timeline for a hit-and-run investigation, the following information will give you an idea of what to expect if you’re the victim of such an accident.

Duty to Stop in Nebraska

Statute 60-696 of Nebraska’s legislature outlines what a person is supposed to do in the event of an auto accident.

As a resident of Nebraska, you have the following legal responsibilities in the event you are in a car accident involving another occupied vehicle:

  • Stop at the scene of the accident.
  • Provide and collect names, addresses, telephone numbers, and drivers’ license numbers.
  • Report the accident if there are any injuries or deaths, or if the property damages exceed $1,000.
  • You have ten days to file the report with the Nebraska Department of Transportation.

If you are in an accident involving an unattended vehicle, your legal responsibilities are as follows:

  • Stop at the scene of the accident.
  • Provide a written note containing your name, address, telephone number, and drivers license number.
  • Report the accident to the police as soon as possible.

If you violate Statute 60-696, you can be charged with a Class II misdemeanor. If you violate the statute more than once in 12 years’ time, you can be charged with a Class I misdemeanor. With either misdemeanor, you’re driving privileges can be revoked by a judge or jury for up to one year.

Hit-and-Run Investigations

Hit-and-run investigations can go a few ways. In the end, the guilty party either gets away or is caught and can be held liable for their negligence.

The police will investigate the crime after you file your accident report. They will examine the scene for possible clues, including the damage to your vehicle and the road conditions. Officers will try to locate possible witnesses who may be able to provide valuable information for your case. It’s also likely they will review any nearby surveillance cameras for information on the runner’s car. They may even reach out on social media in an attempt to encourage the negligent party to come forward and admit their crime.

If they’re able to locate the suspected guilty party, that individual will receive a letter from the police advising them of the investigation. If they’re found to be guilty, you can file a claim with their insurance company and they’ll be charged with a hit-and-run misdemeanor. If the culprit is not found, you’ll have to seek compensation from your own insurance company.

Being a victim of a hit-and-run accident can be frustrating, especially while you’re waiting to find out about the identity of the guilty party. Dealing with insurance companies during this time can be confusing, and you may receive a settlement offer that’s less than what you deserve. If you’re a Nebraska resident facing a similar situation, our Omaha car accident injury lawyers can help. Contact our firm today.