The Jaffe Law Firm
Albuquerque, New Mexico
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After a hit and run, should you follow the other car?

You get involved in a hit and run. As the other driver starts to take off, you can hardly believe what you’re seeing. Your first instinct is to chase them down to make sure they are held accountable. You’re already considering potential costs: Damage to your car, hospital bills, doctor’s bills, lost wages, etc. Should you chase them?

Typically, the answer is no. You should really just contact the police. Chasing the hit and run driver just escalates the situation. The police are supposed to handle these cases, and, if anyone is going to track that driver down, it should be them.

One officer said that it may be all right to follow the driver if you are:

  • Obeying traffic laws
  • Being safe
  • Not putting yourself, your passengers or other people in danger

For instance, maybe they don’t even know they hit you, so they’re not so much fleeing the scene as driving away at a normal speed. You could follow them to take down their license plate for the police or just to wave them down and get them to stop.

However, in the vast majority of cases, you should not give chase. Drivers who flee the scene may speed, run red lights, weave in and out of traffic, engage in road rage, drive up over the curb, and do all sorts of other things to escape. Never, ever get into a chase like this or you could end up causing a more serious crash.

Once the police find the hit and run driver, just take the time to look into your legal options and take action that way.

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