You need to hire a hit and run accident attorney because it gives you the best shot at compensation for your injuries. Even if the authorities have not identified the hit-and-run driver or the driver does not carry insurance, you may still receive significant payment for your losses. While you focus on healing from your trauma, an attorney can investigate, litigate, and negotiate your claim.
Here’s a review of the services a skilled car accident attorney can provide and why you need to contact one immediately.
A Lawyer Can Investigate Your Hit-And-Run Accident and Identify Liable Parties
You can’t necessarily count on the authorities to investigate your hit-and-run accident thoroughly. They have lots to do, and your crash may fall far down their list of priorities. An experienced car accident lawyer can take the time to conduct a detailed investigation of what happened and gather evidence to prove liability against the hit-and-driver or another party.
A lawyer’s investigation differs from law enforcement’s. The police tend to limit their inquiry to identifying and apprehending the hit-and-run driver. A lawyer, in contrast, focuses on determining all parties — not just the hit-and-run driver — who played a role in causing the accident and should pay you for your losses.
For example, a lawyer might find out that:
- The hit-and-run driver worked for a business that an eyewitness can identify from markings on the vehicle, making the business potentially liable for your injuries.
- A mechanical defect in your vehicle contributed to the accident or the injuries you sustained, leading to potential liability for its manufacturer.
- Unreasonably dangerous road markings or features contributed to the accident, which could saddle a government entity or private road owner with liability.
Anyone whose careless or reckless conduct led to your hit-and-run accident could have a legal duty to pay you compensation. A skilled lawyer can pursue one, some, or all of them to ensure you receive full payment for your losses.
A Lawyer Can Evaluate Your Damages
As the injured victim of a hit-and-run accident, you may have the right to receive significant compensation. The compensable damages you’ve suffered may span a greater range of harm than you realize. A skilled hit-and-run accident lawyer can evaluate the crash’s impact on your life and seek payment for your multiple categories of physical, emotional, and financial injury, including the following:
A hit-and-run accident can mean severe injuries and sky-high medical expenses. You can claim compensation for all of them, including the care you’ve already received and necessary future treatments.
Common medical expenses you might seek payment for include emergency care, hospitalization, rehabilitation, medication, medical equipment, follow-up appointments, in-home caregivers, and travel to and from medical facilities. Be sure to save all your bills, invoices, and receipts for medical care to assist your lawyer in calculating the amount you deserve as reimbursement and to cover your future needs.
The injuries and trauma of a hit-and-run accident may force you to take time off work or miss out on future earning opportunities. The law permits you to claim those financial losses as damages.
An experienced hit-and-run lawyer can pursue compensation that includes reimbursement of earnings and job benefits you did not receive or accrue during the time you missed work and income you would have received if the accident had not happened.
Pain and Suffering
You also deserve compensation for the physical discomfort, emotional distress, and other life challenges caused by your injuries. Lawyers refer to these damages as pain and suffering.
An experienced hit-and-run accident lawyer can evaluate the impact of your trauma and determine the appropriate amount to claim as compensation for it. Pain and suffering damages can constitute a large proportion of the amount you receive if you have an experienced attorney who can calculate and prove them.
A Lawyer Can Review and Pursue Your Auto Insurance Coverage
You may have the right to use your auto insurance policy to cover some of the damages you suffered in a hit-and-run.
An experienced hit-and-run accident lawyer can review your insurance coverage to determine if it applies and, if so, can work to ensure you receive full compensation. Here are some of the ways your insurance may cover your damages.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage
According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), over 12 percent of drivers nationwide do not carry auto liability insurance. But the proportion of uninsured drivers in hit-and-run accidents is undoubtedly much higher — a lack of coverage tends to motivate drivers to flee the scene of a crash they caused. And even when hit-and-run drivers carry insurance, it doesn’t do much good if police fail to identify them.
If you carry uninsured motorist coverage, it may pay for the losses the hit-and-run driver caused, which would have been paid for by the driver’s liability insurance. Obtaining payment under an uninsured motorist policy requires proving to your insurer that the hit-and-run driver caused the accident and either lacked insurance or could not be identified. An attorney can evaluate your coverage and demonstrate that it applies to your hit-and-run case.
Personal injury protection (PIP) and Medical Payments (MedPay) coverage are forms of no-fault insurance that pay for certain damages no matter who caused an accident. PIP covers medical expenses and some lost income. MedPay covers medical costs only.
If you carry PIP or MedPay as part of your auto insurance policy, it may pay for some of the losses you suffered in a hit-and-run accident. But you may need to seek care and notify your carrier in a limited timeframe to ensure payment. Ask an experienced attorney to review your policy and explain what you need to do to receive your benefits, especially if you get pushback from an insurer about its obligation to pay after a hit-and-run.
Your auto policy may include collision coverage, which pays for damage to your vehicle regardless of fault. If so, your collision coverage may compensate you for the cost of repairing or replacing your car after a hit-and-run. But be careful. Insurance companies notoriously try to game the valuation of your damaged vehicle to avoid paying the full cost of repairs or an equivalent replacement. An experienced hit-and-run accident attorney can manage your collision claim to ensure you get treated fairly.
A Lawyer Can Litigate Your Claim
Getting compensation for the losses you suffered in a hit-and-run accident may require filing a lawsuit. That doesn’t mean your case will go to trial, necessarily. Most lawsuits settle before they reach a jury. But it does mean that the success of your claim may depend on understanding and following court procedures governing how parties investigate, argue, and resolve their disputes.
As described above, you may have the right to sue numerous individuals, businesses, or entities for the harm they did to you.
An experienced hit-and-run accident lawyer can handle every aspect of those lawsuits. The lawyer can prepare and file complaints, conduct discovery, file and argue motions, and (if necessary) present your case to a judge and jury at trial.
Hiring a lawyer willing and able to take your case to court also tells at-fault parties, defense lawyers, and insurance companies that you mean business, which can enhance your chances of achieving a favorable settlement.
A Lawyer Can Negotiate for You
The most common way for a hit-and-run accident injury claim to resolve is through a negotiated settlement or private agreement to resolve a legal dispute. In the typical settlement, the injured party receives a payment from an at-fault party or insurance company in exchange for releasing them from further liability and dropping any pending lawsuits.
Hiring a skilled hit-and-run lawyer constitutes a crucial step in obtaining the most favorable settlement possible in your case. Lawyers negotiate for a living. They know when and how to pressure an at-fault party or insurance company to pay the maximum. By leaving settlement negotiations to an experienced attorney, you give yourself the best shot at receiving enough money to pay your bills, meet your future needs, and rebuild your life.
A Lawyer Can Advise You
The days, weeks, and months following a hit-and-run accident can feel overwhelming. It helps to have someone to call on who can guide you and help you make decisions that may affect your right. That’s a role a hit-and-run accident lawyer is happy to play.
Lawyers swear a solemn oath to represent their clients’ interests. During a representation, they can look out for you, act as your representative, advocate for your priorities, and be the sounding board you need. They’ve helped many people overcome the challenges you now face. They’re just the ally you need while you heal from your injuries and put your life back on track.
You Can Afford to Hire a Hit-and-Run Accident Lawyer
Many crash victims hesitate to call a hit-and-run accident lawyer because they worry about the cost. That’s an understandable concern, but you don’t need to have it.
Hit-and-run lawyers offer free consultations to injured crash victims and their loved ones. In a consultation, you can learn about your rights and get the lawyer’s initial assessment of whether you have a case for damages. The lawyer will never charge you for this meeting, even if you decide not to proceed with taking legal action.
Lawyers for hit-and-run accident victims also routinely take cases on a contingency fee basis. That means they work in exchange for a percentage of the money they recover for their clients. They do not charge upfront or by the hour. They only get paid if they deliver results.
The Importance of Hiring a Hit-and-Run Lawyer Immediately
Time is not on your side as the victim of a hit-and-run accident. The sooner you hire an attorney, the better your chances of safeguarding your rights and receiving appropriate compensation.
With every day that passes, evidence critical to proving your case can become increasingly difficult to obtain. For example, video footage of the accident can get automatically deleted, or eyewitness memories can fade. Quickly retaining a lawyer maximizes the opportunity to find and secure that evidence before it’s lost.
A hit-and-run accident also garners attention from law enforcement. Having a lawyer as your representative relieves you of the burden of dealing with the authorities directly. A lawyer can coordinate the private investigation of your claim with the official investigation and take the necessary steps to obtain whatever information police can share about the hit-and-run driver.
Your compensation claim also comes with a time limit called the statute of limitations. That’s the deadline by which you must take legal action against a party with liability to you. If you miss it, your rights can expire, and you can lose your ability to demand compensation from at-fault parties and insurance companies. A lawyer can work to ensure that you meet every deadline applicable to your case.
Contact an Experienced Hit-and-Run Accident Lawyer Today
Do not give up hope of receiving compensation after getting hurt in a hit-and-run accident. Even if the authorities fail to identify or apprehend the hit-and-run driver, you still may have multiple options for obtaining money to cover your losses.
A skilled personal injury lawyer can investigate what happened, identify potentially liable parties, and handle all aspects of pursuing payment on your behalf. Lawyers know how to navigate the unique challenges of a hit-and-run accident case. While a lawyer works on securing money from at-fault parties and insurance companies, you can focus your time and energy on healing and rebuilding.
So don’t wait another minute. Contact an experienced hit-and-run accident lawyer today for a free case evaluation.