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Hit And Run Car Accident Lawyer

Accidents are unpleasant incidents, and not all drivers make wise decisions. For instance, a driver crashes a pedestrian and leaves without offering help or revealing their identity. Such hit-and-run accidents can be distressing because you cannot identify the car or the person behind the wheels. Besides that, you might also have to deal with severe injuries and property damage. Fortunately, you may be eligible for compensation for your pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost income, and property losses.

For a case evaluation, consult our hit-and-run accident attorney at Phillips Law Offices. We aspire to help victims of these accidents recover the damages they deserve. So, even if the negligent driver fled the accident scene, you don’t have to feel low. Read on to know what you should do after a hit-run crash and the benefits of hiring a personal injury lawyer in such a case.

Table of Contents

Why do some drivers escape the accident spot?

At-fault car drivers causing injuries or the death of another person should stop at the accident spot and offer reasonable assistance. It is a legal requirement, and they must provide pertinent details about their residence, vehicle, and insurance. They should comply with the law, but if they don’t, they risk causing a tragic condition and facing civil and criminal penalties. While state laws governing hit-and-runs can differ, negligent drivers may have to go through legal repercussions. According to the specifics of the case and state law, the offender could be subject to fines, jail time, and license suspension. Despite strict rules and regulations, most drivers flee the scene of an accident before being caught.

According to a news report, more than one hit-and-run collision occurs every minute on US roadways. In previous years, approx 65 percent of those killed in hit-and-run accidents were bicyclists or pedestrians. You may be wondering why someone would run away from a car accident scene that they caused. Following a hit-and-run, some common excuses given by drivers for not stopping are as follows:

  • Drivers are on road without insurance or with insufficient insurance
  • Having a suspended license or having none at all
  • Intoxicated by alcohol or drugs behind the wheels
  • On probation for additional criminal offenses, including having an active arrest warrant
  • Frightened about losing their license because of prior infractions
  • Driving a car that has been stolen or rented
  • In possession of drugs, stolen, or some other illegal goods
  • Drifting a company vehicle and avoiding repercussions at work

Injuries from hit-and-run car casualties

When a driver hits a motorist, pedestrian, bicyclist, or property and leaves without providing identification, the consequences can be severe. The victim may have sustained injuries or attained a permanent disability. In extreme cases, hit-and-run accidents could cause coma, paralysis, or even death. Generally, state laws categorize injury-related accidents into two categories to comprehend the severity of the case, including:

Minor injury

A minor hit-and-run collision involves low impact, low speed, and minor vehicular damage. Muscle or soft tissue injuries are the most common minor injuries from such accidents. The injuries can also include soreness in the neck and shoulders, headaches, muscle aches, sprains, or whiplash. Besides physical injury, the accident could cause slight damage to a car, such as dents or scratches on the bumper. Such issues do not impair the working potential of your vehicle.

Death or severe injury

Serious hit-and-run accidents could also result in severe injuries and damage. For instance, a driver led to a multi-car collision and escaped the scene fast. The outcome was that victims suffered multiple impacts instead of a single impact. They may sustain injuries like bone fractures, traumatic brain injury, concussions, disc herniations, internal bleeding, and nerve impairment. Additionally, damage from such hit-run cases can be life-threatening, long-term, or involve death incidents.

Due to adrenaline and shock caused by a hit-run crash, victims could even experience delayed symptoms. It includes psychological issues like crippling phobias, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), uncontrollable anxiety, and depression. Since the after-effects of a hit-and-run incident can turn from minor to severe with time, all victims should seek medical attention as soon as possible. The next step is to seek legal representation from a skilled personal injury attorney for monetary compensation and relief.

What to do if a hit-and-run accident occurs?

When a hit-and-run accident occurs, not everyone knows what to do. The law requires that people involved in a traffic accident stop immediately at the spot or as close to the event as possible. Both parties should remain at the scene until police have reported the incident. Otherwise, the at-fault party has to face a charge for a crime they weren’t aware of, like failing to stop. If you are in a critical situation wherein the driver fled the scene, keep calm and follow the following steps.

Access safety

Checking for injuries and determining your safety are the first things to do after being involved in a hit-and-run accident. Once you are stable and sure you haven’t sustained severe injuries, examine the safety of your passengers. The next step is to check your vehicle’s condition and see if you can safely drive it from the oncoming traffic. If there’s some problem, move out of your car, reach the roadside, and make yourself comfortable.

Call for emergency

Accidents involving hits and runs may result in minor to severe injuries. Call 911 for emergency assistance if you are unsure of the severity of the incident. Give emergency dispatchers all possible information about the accident scene. It includes giving them details about injuries, location, and how many members were wounded. Documentation of emergency services is beneficial for legal and insurance reasons, even if no one is injured.

Gather information

One of the most significant steps is to gather information about the hit-run incident. While you wait for law enforcement to arrive, take note of the following points:

  • Vehicle – model, color, license plate, brand, or any distinguishing feature
  • Driver identification –gender, complexion, race, hair length, attire, or something unusual
  • Accident – time, place, reason, how many people involved
  • Photographs – scene, injuries, your wrecked vehicle, or property damage

Ask anyone around if they can recall anything you might have forgotten. Make sure to get the contact information of any witnesses who can help with a police report in case the police need to follow up later.

Informing concerned authorities

Next, call the police and give them a complete account of what happened. Request a copy of the report from the police. Additionally, speak with your insurance company to submit a claim. Every insurer is unique, as some call for the filing of claims within 24 hours, while others might give you 30 days. In any case, start the procedure as soon as you can. Your insurance company will work behind the scenes to determine your coverage after you’ve submitted a claim.

Seeking hit and run accident lawyer

After completing these steps, you can pursue a claim for your injuries incurred currently or future expenses. However, the insurance company may attempt to settle for a low sum due to a lack of evidence. With a skilled personal injury solicitor, you can explore legal options and ensure a fair settlement. They will help file claims for your injuries even if you took all reasonable steps but failed to identify the other driver. A lawyer experienced in hit-and-run cases will know what to do to secure compensation for your injuries and other losses.

Recoverable damages from hit-run cases

If there’s an injury or death in a hit and run accident, stakes are higher than in minor accident cases. Law enforcement investigates accidents with injuries more seriously than those involving only property damage. However, recovery following a hit-and-run accident is contingent upon the following conditions:

  • If the negligent driver has insurance (they often don’t, which may be why they fled), it would be possible to apprehend them. 
  • Your insurance policy includes coverage for uninsured and underinsured motorists (UM and UIM).
  • You’re covered for “medical pay” by your insurance.
  • Other parties could be at fault.

If you have UM/UIM coverage, your chances of recovering from a hit-and-run injury accident are high. If you are hurt in an accident and have no other options for redress, UM/UIM coverage, an additional cost on your auto insurance, can save your life. The UM/UIM coverage essentially assumes the role of the person who injured you, enabling you to seek compensation and redress.

If you or a loved one is hit and run over, you might wonder what damages you will attain. Even though every case is unique, you might be eligible for some general damages. It includes medical expenses (such as physical therapy for a knee injury), rehabilitation costs, lost wages, and compensation for emotional pain. For assistance, consult your attorney and explore various legal options related to insurance. The lawyer will also help calculate your economic and non-economic damage for reimbursement.

Role of hit and run car accident attorney

Cars, cyclists, trucks, SUVs, motorcycles, and pedestrians can all be the victims of hit-and-runs. Any person the accused driver collides with may sustain a variety of injuries. These injuries can range from minor to severe, necessitating hospitalization and ongoing medical attention. They may result in financial loss, car damage, psychological harm, physical injury, and emotional suffering. As a result of a hit-and-run, homes, buildings, or other structures could also sustain property damage.

Contact Our hit and run accident attorney

If a hit-and-run driver causes injuries to you or a loved one, seek legal counsel from a skilled personal injury attorney at Phillips Law Offices. Our legal team will help through the legal process of attaining the compensation you deserve. They will take all necessary steps on your behalf. Police investigators can use various methods to track down the negligent driver who fled the scene in some cases. You or other witnesses may have relevant information that we will analyze and help the cops with their investigation. Our firm may also be able to collaborate with your own insurance company to assist you in obtaining any financial compensation available to you under your current policy. To get free consultation contact us now at (312) 598-0917.

Phillips Law Offices – Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

Frequently Asked Questions

If you’re involved in a hit and run accident and the other driver has fled the scene, your immediate priority is safety. Check for injuries and call 911 to report the accident to the police. Try to gather as much information as possible about the fleeing vehicle, including the license plate number, make, model, color, and any distinguishing features. Also, take photos of the accident scene, vehicle damage, and any injuries. Contact your insurance company to report the accident, and consider seeking legal representation to navigate the complex process of identifying the responsible party and pursuing a claim.

Uninsured motorist coverage (UM) is an insurance policy that provides coverage when you’re involved in an accident with an at-fault driver who doesn’t have insurance or can’t be identified (as in a hit and run). In a hit and run case, UM coverage can help by stepping in to compensate you for your medical expenses, property damage, and other losses when the at-fault driver is unknown or uninsured. It essentially allows you to make a claim with your own insurance company to recover damages you would typically seek from the responsible party.

If you’re a pedestrian involved in a hit and run accident, follow these steps:

Seek Immediate Medical Attention: Your health is paramount, so get medical help for your injuries as soon as possible.

Call the Police: Report the hit and run to the police and provide any details you can recall about the vehicle and driver.

Gather Witness Information: If there are witnesses, collect their contact information in case they can provide valuable information later.

Document the Scene: Take photos of the accident scene, your injuries, and any property damage.

Contact an Attorney: Consult a personal injury attorney with experience in hit and run cases. They can help you navigate the legal process and pursue compensation for your injuries.

Notify Your Insurance Company: Report the accident to your auto insurance company, and if you have UM coverage, inform them of the hit and run.

Keep Records: Maintain thorough records of medical bills, treatment, and any expenses related to the accident.

Increasing the chances of identifying a hit and run driver involves:

Noting Details: Pay close attention to the vehicle’s color, make, model, and any distinctive features. Try to memorize or write down the license plate number.

Witnesses: Ask any witnesses for their contact information and statements about what they saw.

Security Cameras: Check if there are security cameras in the vicinity that may have captured the accident.

Social Media: Keep an eye on social media or local news for reports of accidents matching the description.

Local Businesses: Visit nearby businesses to inquire if they have surveillance footage that might have captured the incident.

Contact the Police: Share any information you have with the police, who may be able to use it to track down the responsible party.

Attorney Assistance: An attorney experienced in hit and run cases can conduct a thorough investigation and may work with private investigators to identify the driver.

Identifying the hit and run driver is essential for pursuing a personal injury claim or property damage claim and holding them accountable for their actions.

If the hit and run driver is located but does not have insurance, it can complicate the process of recovering compensation. In this situation, you may still pursue a personal injury or property damage claim against the driver personally. However, collecting compensation may be challenging if the driver lacks insurance or assets to cover your damages. Consulting with an attorney can help explore your legal options, such as seeking compensation through your own uninsured motorist coverage or pursuing a civil judgment against the driver if feasible.

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