A hit-and-run accident occurs when one of the parties involved flees the scene without providing sufficient information, assistance to the injured, or a report to the police. It is a worrying trend that has been on the rise, and it’s essential to be aware of what to do in such a situation.
If you find yourself in such an accident, what steps should you take to ensure you get compensated for personal injuries, loss of income, or property damage? Is it possible for you to hold the driver at fault accountable?
Compensation After a Hit-and-Run Accident
Typically, your auto insurance policy is the first place to look in the event of an accident. Even if you don’t have the other driver’s details, your policy probably contains an uninsured motorist cover, which you can use to pursue your claim.
Depending on your insurance coverage and the rules of the state where the accident occurred, your policy should cover all or part of your medical bills, lost income, and other damages. However, these benefits have limits and depend on both the insurance you purchased and individual state laws.
Can I Sue the Driver at Fault?
If you were the victim of a hit-and-run accident, you can sue the driver for damages arising from the accident. Damages resulting from a personal injury take two forms: compensatory and punitive.
Compensatory damages cover the actual losses suffered by the victim, while punitive damages are meant to punish the offender and prevent future incidents of the same nature. The latter is usually proportionate to the compensatory damages and largely depends on the offender’s financial position.
Fleeing an accident scene is illegal in all states, and if authorities are able to find the driver responsible, you can recover damages by filing a hit-and-run lawsuit.
With the assistance of a car accident attorney, you can recover monetary and punitive damages from the driver’s negligence and lack of reasonable care after the accident. You have a strong case in the instance of such an accident, and with an experienced attorney, the case heavily swings in your favor.
Proof of Liability in a Hit-and-Run Lawsuit
The most important part of your lawsuit will be proving that the other driver acted with negligence. Even if the driver is acquitted of any criminal act resulting from the hit-and-run, you can still prove negligence. Keep in mind that civil lawsuits have lower proof standards, although it is essential to consult your lawyer since certain case elements could affect your damage claims. Also, proving liability is technical in some states, and it’s necessary to have someone with a legal background by your side.
Besides proving negligence on the part of the driver, your attorney will also undertake the following:
- Gather supporting evidence of your claims. This may include, but is not limited to, corroboration of your injuries from the accident, their severity, and how they affect your daily activities.
- Act on your behalf in case you are recuperating. Owing to the accident, you may have limited mobility, and your attorney will ensure your representation in the suit.
- Evaluate your damage claims. For fair compensation, you will need an experienced attorney to quantify the damages you have suffered, including the cost of future treatments.
Due to the complexity of hit-and-run lawsuits, which may involve several parties and bring up numerous legal complexities, it’s highly recommended that you contact an attorney as soon as possible. While legal redress may provide relief, your attorney is best-placed to evaluate the options available for you by ensuring you get fair compensation for your damages.