10 November, 2023
Hit-and-run incidents result in severe injuries and fatalities each year in the United States. According to NHTSA, there were 2,049 fatalities in a recent year related to hit-and-run crashes. When an at-fault driver manages to escape an accident scene, the victim is left to deal with the consequences of the accident.
Victims of hit-and-run crashes sustain serious injuries, including broken bones, whiplash, burns, knee injuries, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and soft tissue injuries. These injuries can have life-changing impacts, including massive medical expenses and permanent disability.
Fortunately, there are avenues within the law to catch up with a hit-and-run suspect. If you or a loved one has sustained injury from a hit-and-run incident, a car accident attorney can help hold the liable driver accountable.
A hit-and-run incident occurs when one driver of a minor or a severe crash immediately flees the scene. In most cases, the at-fault driver flees the scene even before the police arrive to avoid the fallout from the crash.
In each state, established hit-and-run laws prescribe when a driver should stop at the scene of a car accident. Despite the rules in various jurisdictions, the following are a few situations when motorists are obliged to stop at a crash scene when they’re involved in a collision:
In other instances, you must stop at the accident scene if you started a chain of events that caused a collision, even when you did not directly strike an object or a vehicle.
For instance, if you made an illegal U-turn in the middle of the road and caused a rear-end collision for two other vehicles, you should stop.
Most hit-and-run drivers give excuses that they were trying to avoid interacting with the police or were confused and decided to run. Some drivers may also run to escape alcohol or intoxication tests.
Some drivers flee the scene immediately to avoid being taken into custody because of an outstanding warranty. Whatever the reason, no justification is enough to avoid the punishment related to a hit-and-run offense.
Penalties for a hit-and-run incident depend on each state’s laws and the severity of the accident. A driver can face either of these penalties depending on the severity of their offense:
If you’re a hit-and-run accident victim and the involved driver fled the scene, you should report the matter to the police as soon as possible. If there are witnesses, ask them to stay at the scene and speak to the law enforcement officer, and make sure to get their contact information.
The police will investigate to try and identify the driver who fled the scene of the incident. Here are the common types of evidence required to prove a hit-and-run incident:
The police and expert investigative agents may also conduct additional investigative work. For instance, the police can administer a breathalyzer test if they catch a driver they suspect is under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
It is common for a driver to hit a cyclist, pedestrian, or another vehicle and speed off. When this happens, you can build your case by collecting the available evidence as quickly as possible.
If the offending driver pulls away after an accident, try to get a picture of their license plate and identify the car’s make and model if you can. Remember, the more information you have about the scene, the easier it will be to identify and hold the at-fault driver accountable.
If anyone witnessed the accident, ask if they saw anything and record those details, including their contact information. In addition, check the surrounding businesses and residences with surveillance cameras that might have recorded helpful information.
If the driver is found and you sustained bodily injury, you can pursue a personal injury claim against the driver’s insurance to receive monetary compensation for your losses.
If the other driver manages to escape, you can file an uninsured claim with your insurance provider to recover the damages you sustained.
Most states allow victims of an accident to pursue compensation from the driver who caused the accident through an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit. Unfortunately, seeking justice becomes complicated when the at-fault driver leaves the scene.
A hit-and-run incident often leaves the victim confused. Working with a car accident attorney has several benefits, including assessing the circumstances of the collision and determining the legal options available.
Here’s how an attorney can help you to seek compensation after a hit-and-run accident:
Most states operate a fault-based system for car accidents, making it possible to build a case against the driver who hit you.
First, the lawyer can engage investigative agencies to determine the responsible driver for the hit-and-run incident. It is also the lawyer’s responsibility to gather compelling evidence, which is enough to file a successful claim.
The attorney will then try to secure compensation by:
The attorney can file a claim against your uninsured motorist policy if you cannot identify the driver who hit you.
The attorney’s role is to represent your interest and protect your rights by managing all communications with your insurer and guiding you through the process.
Working with an attorney will also give you a sense of calm during the claim process. Instead of juggling work and the claim processing, you can rest knowing a professional is handling the matter.
A hit-and-run incident can leave you dealing with injuries, loss of a loved one, property damage, or disability.
With that in mind, working with a car accident attorney can help maximize your chances of a fair settlement.
The Barnes Firm has a team of highly trained and experienced attorneys, which gives us the confidence to pursue compensation for hit-and-run victims.
Contact us online or call us at (800) 800-0000 for a free case evaluation.
“As President of The Barnes Firm, I have dedicated my career to achieving justice in hundreds of cases for the victims of injuries caused through the fault of others. Additionally, I have been honored to have been elected by my peers to serve as president of the WNY Trial Lawyers Association.”
Years of Experience: 30+ years
Getting our clients the best results possible.
or call us at(800) 800-0000
The Barnes Firm is here to help you. Our personal injury firm helps individuals and their families who
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