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Witnessed a hit-and-run, but being accused as the culprit. what do I do?

Discussion in 'Auto Accidents, Injuries' started by helpfulperch, Jun 6, 2019.

  1. helpfulperch

    helpfulperch Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
    Tennessee
    - Sun afternoon, a 13yr old white girl (will be relevant) on a bike drives past another car in front of me (Car A, similar black sedan to mine) at a light intersection coming out of my apt complex.
    - Car A moves forward slowly & the girl meets & falls onto their hood. She gets off the hood, Car A reverses, I reverse, & she moves to speak at the window of Car A to the driver. I assume they're confirming that she is ok (seemed to be).
    - Girl moves her bike to the sidewalk. Car A takes a right & drives off. I pull forward & get out to ask her if she's ok & if she wants me to call a police/ambulance. She refuses, says she's that she's fine. I drive off.
    - I discover later the girl contacted her step-mom. Sends police, fire-trucks, ambulance.
    - Sat afternoon, the step-mother is driving thru my apt complex screaming, racial slurs ('n-word', I'm white!), threats. She stops at my car, takes pictures of it. I approach. She raves about the car being the one that hit her daughter and making threats. I tell her it's my car but I was only a witness, not the culprit. She keeps raving and eventually drives off. She even left a post-it note saying 'Hit & run mother f***ers! I'm watching you'.
    - Wed afternoon, I get a report saying I'm the hit-and-run culprit since my car looked like Car A. A witness IDs me/my car, and I'm unsure if the girl changed her story.

    What do I do? I don't have a dash-cam or other witness to the accident. I'm only a witness in this situation, but for some reason I'm the one being blamed for hitting this girl. I know now what I should've done, but now I'm regretting not staying, or taking pictures of Car A, writing the license plate number, etc.

    I've already filed a report against the step-mother, with witnesses to her threats. But that still leaves the hit-and-run report against me. I'm contacting the officer this morning who made the report to try to clear things up, but I don't know what else to do/say to affirm my innocence.

    I have a pristine driving record, work for the State, and need fast advice.

    Any and all help would be sincerely appreciated!
     
  2. PayrollHRGuy

    PayrollHRGuy Well-Known Member

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    Get a lawyer. Do not speak to the police without the advice of a lawyer.
     
  3. helpfulperch

    helpfulperch Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Definitely contacted a lawyer this morning and getting all the details emailed over to them. They advised the same thing, not to speak with authorities without one present. Also contacting my car insurance company in the (potential) case that they file an injury claim against me/my car.

    More as it develops..but please let me know if you think of anything else.
     
    PayrollHRGuy likes this.
  4. PayrollHRGuy

    PayrollHRGuy Well-Known Member

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    As I mentioned on the other forum this sounds like a scam to me.

    Be careful.
     
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  5. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    Last edited: Jun 6, 2019
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  6. justblue

    justblue Well-Known Member

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  7. helpfulperch

    helpfulperch Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Yes - I pretty much looked up any legal forum to see if anyone would post any constructive advice. Which I'm very much obliged (including thanks to PayRollGuy) :)
     
  8. PayrollHRGuy

    PayrollHRGuy Well-Known Member

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  9. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    Do nothing. They must prove you guilty and likely can't do that.

    DO NOT do that. When/if the officer wants to speak to you the officer knows how to do so. If the officer does come asking questions simply inform the officer you will not make any statements without legal counsel present. DO NOT answer questions or offer information to try and explain your innocence.

    Meanwhile, you might make an effort to check the area and find if any security cameras on nearby buildings might have recorded the incident and ask to get a copy.
     
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  10. helpfulperch

    helpfulperch Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thank you for the response - and (based on other recommendations) you're absolutely right. A report was filed with the police regarding the incident with the mother. Contacted a lawyer prior to contacting 'Hit and Run' dept with the police. Lawyer will be deciding next steps, but advised not to communicate further with anyone, and to tell police (if they call), that the lawyer will contact them. If there is a warrant sent out or sued, the lawyer will organize things. I also contacted my car insurance company to file a potential 'false' incident case against me - in this event, they could cover my legal fees if it came to that.

    Best case scenario, this gets straightened out simply and easily with the girl's account being verified - but in any event, lawyering-up is the main point.

    For anyone out there who may read this - ALWAYS stay at the scene no matter what happens until authorities show up and take account, ALWAYS record/take photos if you can, and ALWAYS be on the side of caution.
     
  11. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    Since you weren't involved in the accident, those things don't necessarily apply (well, except for the caution part - one should always exercise due caution). The thing you needed here was a DASH CAM. They are dirt cheap and easy to install. EVERYONE should have one.
     
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  12. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    I have no idea what "FA" is.
     
  13. cbg

    cbg Super Moderator

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    It's still another legal forum where a number of us post.
     
  14. justblue

    justblue Well-Known Member

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    lol...sorry. FreeAdvice.
     
  15. helpfulperch

    helpfulperch Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Latest Update: The lawyer is going to conduct the interview with the Hit & Run dept at the police station. This could go either way but always best to have legal representation, and at this stage, it's peace of mind.
     
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  16. Highwayman

    Highwayman Well-Known Member

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    The "Hit and Run Department"??
     
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  17. justblue

    justblue Well-Known Member

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    Yes, the hit and run department. It's between the hardware and automotive departments. Duh. :p
     
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  18. helpfulperch

    helpfulperch Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Hit and Run Unit, rather.
     
  19. justblue

    justblue Well-Known Member

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    FYI: There is no "Hit and Run Unit". I think you might mean the Traffic Division. :)
     
  20. helpfulperch

    helpfulperch Law Topic Starter New Member

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    o_O all I know is they refer to it as the 'Hit and Run Unit'..basically the officer(s) who have to conduct the investigation. So apparently somewhere..they exist :D
     

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