Hit and run accidents are one of the most frustrating and upsetting types of crashes that can occur on the roadway. Not only are you dealing with injuries, pain and damage to your vehicle, but you must also face the task of trying to identify the driver in order to recover the compensation you need to deal with all of the expenses from the accident. Fortunately, by taking the right steps, you may be able to find the negligent driver who caused your accident and file a claim against him or her for compensation. Even if the driver cannot be identified, you may still be able to get the money you need.
Hit and Run Basics
A hit and run accident occurs when a driver crashes into a pedestrian, cyclist, or another vehicle and then leaves the scene without reporting the accident to the authorities. In many cases, these drivers take off immediately, before the victim is even able to write down the driver's license plate number.
If the authorities are eventually able to identify the person responsible for the hit-and-run accident, he or she can be held responsible for any injuries or damage resulting from the accident. The individual may also face criminal charges for leaving the scene of the accident without taking the proper action to ensure that the authorities were aware of the accident and that the victims received proper medical care.
What to Do After a Hit and Run Accident
If you have been involved in a hit and run accident, the first thing you need to do is try to get a good look at the vehicle of the driver responsible. If possible, write down the license plate number. If you can't see the license plate number, try to memorize as many details as possible so that you can tell the police. However, you should never try to chase down a hit-and-run driver. Instead, call 911 and wait for the police to arrive on the scene.
Once the police arrive, give them as much detail as you can about what happened. If you or any of your passengers are injured, seek medical treatment as well. If there are any witnesses on the scene, ask them to provide as much information as they can about what they saw. You should also collect their contact information at this time in case you need it later.
Filing a Claim
After you have taken care of any injuries, spoken with the authorities and filed an accident report, it is time to consult an attorney. Whether you are dealing with your own insurance company or you are able to identify the person responsible for the hit and run, you will need an advocate to help you through this difficult process.
With the help of a qualified hit and run attorney, you may be able to recover compensation for all of your economic damages, which includes any medical bills you owe, the cost of repairs to your vehicle, the amount of wages you lost because of the accident and any other expenses you incurred because of the crash. You may also be able to recover compensation for non-economic damages, which are intangible damages related to the accident. Non-economic damages include impaired quality of life, pain and emotional turmoil.
The circumstances of your case will determine how your claims will be filed. For example, if you are able to identify the driver who hit you and prove to the court that he or she is responsible for the crash, you may be able to recover compensation by filing a claim against this driver. If the driver cannot be identified, however, you can file a claim with your own insurance company. Claims of this nature are typically covered by the uninsured motorist portion of your policy.
Why Do I Need an Attorney?
Knowing how to proceed after a hit and run accident can be difficult. However, an experienced attorney can help you understand what the law has to say about your case so that you can make the right choices. After reviewing the facts associated with your case, your attorney will be able to advise you on the best way to recover the compensation you need.
The Law Offices of Ivan M. Diamond has experience with all types of car accident cases, including hit and runs. Don't let the person who hit you get away with what they have done. Call us today to learn more about your options for filing a claim and recovering compensation. Even if you aren't able to prove the identity of the person who hit you, we may still be able to help you get the money you need to move on with your life.