No one wants to deal with any type of car accident. Hit-and-run accidents, however, can be especially difficult to work with. Not only do you have to cover the damages of your own vehicle, but you also don’t have a way to reach out to the other driver. This makes it harder to find their insurance and make a strong claim. It’s important to take these accidents seriously and act quickly. That way you can look for other options to receive legal compensation for the damages from an unknown driver.
Contact Law Enforcement Immediately
The first thing to do after a hit-and-run is to call the police right away. Especially while the accident is fresh on your mind. Plus, They’ll be able to check on you and make sure you’re okay. Give them all the details you can about the accident—where it happened, when it happened, and a description of the vehicle that took off. You’ll need this information later as you build your case to work on receiving financial aid for the damages.
Prioritize Your Health:
Even if you feel okay, it’s important to get checked out by a medical professional promptly. Sometimes, injuries may not be immediately apparent. It’s always a good idea to have a professional look at you. Seeking medical attention not only ensures your well-being but also documents any injuries you sustained from the accident. This also helps your case when you start to collect these documents. Which is why keeping up with these details is important.
Explore Uninsured Motorist (UM) Coverage
If the hit-and-run driver remains unidentified or cannot be located, you still have options through your own insurance. Review your policy and see what type of coverage you have. You might be able to check out uninsured motorist coverage which was created for this very concept. This can help cover medical expenses, lost wages, and damages resulting from the hit-and-run, up to your policy’s limits. That way, you’re not left figuring out what to do first.
Consult with a Personal Injury Attorney
Consider reaching out to a personal injury attorney with experience in hit-and-run cases. These professionals know what to look out for in your case. They understand how the legal system works and will make sure it works in your favor. An attorney can also investigate the accident, gather evidence, and represent your interests during negotiations or in court if needed. Their help is vital in building a strong case that gives you the financial aid you need to cover your damages.
Civil Lawsuit Against the At-Fault Driver
If law enforcement identifies the hit-and-run driver, you may have the option to file a civil lawsuit against them for damages. This can help you receive the compensation that you would have gotten if you knew who the driver was in the first place. Then you can work towards paying for property damages and medical expenses that were adding up from the accident. Your attorney can work with you during this lawsuit and give you the tools you need to have a successful case.
Criminal Charges and Accountability
In some instances, hit-and-run accidents may lead to criminal charges against the responsible party for leaving the scene. Mainly because fleeing the scene is considered a crime that you can seek charges for. Which is an option on your part if you feel comfortable taking that route. While criminal charges don’t directly compensate victims, they can bring a sense of justice and accountability for the at-fault driver. Penalties typically include a hefty fine and, in some cases, the driver having to go to prison.
If you’ve fallen victim to a hit-and-run, remember that you have legal options available to you. Act promptly by reporting the incident, seeking medical attention, understanding your insurance coverage, and seeking legal advice. By taking these steps, you can work towards getting these damages covered. If the accident wasn’t your fault, it shouldn’t have to fall on to you to pay for these expenses. It’s important to hold other drivers accountable and to hopefully keep these accidents from happening in the future.