What would you do if someone hit your car, and then left the scene?
Earlier this week, a man whose car was hit took matters into his own hands by chasing down the perpetrator of a hit and run accident.
According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Pat Arnold, 60, claimed to have been rear-ended by Jorge Moncado. Moncado fled the scene after hitting the car. Accounts of the accident say that Moncado said he was afraid to get out of his car at the scene, and so he left.
This didn’t deter Arnold, who reportedly followed Moncado and rear-ended him in return. Then he got out of his own car to approach Moncado. Police accounts say that Arnold referred to himself as “old school,” indicating that he didn’t think it was right for Moncado to just leave. Arnold claimed that Moncado grabbed him by the throat. At this point, Arnold pulled out his pocket knife and stabbed Moncado.
According to the report, Keven Serrano was present for the original accident, but he left before Moncado fled (and was followed by Arnold). Serrano claimed that there was a young child in the car driven by Moncado.
Arnold was arrested, and Moncado was taken to the hospital to be treated for his wounds, none of which were life-threatening.
While it can be tempting to take matters into your own hands when someone wrongs you, it’s important to consider some of the dangers that can arise. When Arnold chased after Moncado, he put himself in danger. If what he said was true, and he was grabbed by the throat, he could have been seriously injured.
This action had other consequences as well, since Arnold ended up in a position that he thought required self-defense, and he ended up stabbing another person. The legal ramifications of Arnold’s actions are also becoming apparent. He was arrested for two counts of battery with a deadly weapon, attempted murder, and child endangerment (due to the presence of the child in the car).
It is unclear whether Moncado will be cited for something, but since he did flee the scene of accident he caused, there are likely to be consequences.
What Should You Do During a Hit and Run?
Since each situation is different, it’s important that you carefully consider your options if someone causes an accident and then leaves. If you are able to, try to write down the license plate number of the car that hit you. You might even be able to snap a quick picture if you have a smartphone. That way, you can provide the information to law enforcement and they can track down the perpetrator. Do your best to write down everything you can remember about the accident, the car that hit you, and whatever you glimpsed of the other driver. If there are witnesses, gather their statements as well. Just knowing the location can be helpful, since there is the chance that a security camera caught some of the accident.
No matter what you do, though, it’s usually a bad idea to chase the hit and run driver. You don’t know whether you will be safe. It certainly can be a bad idea to get out of your car and confront a hit and run driver. It’s better to file a police report with everything that you know, and with the help of other eye-witness accounts. You might have to file an insurance claim with your own company in order to get help repairing the car. Your filed police report can help you get the compensation you deserve later on. If you have uninsured motorist coverage, which we strongly recommend everyone have, your own insurance should help pay for your injuries.
Finally, call your lawyer, especially if you have been hurt. Your attorney can help you file the paperwork, work with law enforcement, and even make sure that the insurance company treats you fairly.