Can I File a Personal Injury Claim For a Hit-and-Run Accident?
In a hit-and-run accident, the driver who caused the accident flees and does not give any information to the other car’s driver. When personal injuries happen, this flight from the scene is a felony crime.
It Could Happen to You
A research study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that up to 11% of traffic accidents in America, over 730,000 each year, are a hit-and-run type.
Whether you will be able to file a personal injury claim for a hit-and-run accident depends on whether it is possible to track down the driver who ran away. Making a claim also depends on the state where the accident happened and the type of insurance coverage you have.
Stay at the Accident Scene to Gather Evidence
If you are involved in a hit-and-run accident, it may be tempting to chase the other driver. Do not do this. It is much too dangerous.
Instead, stay at the accident scene and call 9-1-1. Give the operator a description of the driver, the vehicle, its license number, and say there was an accident where the driver failed to stop.
Make sure you and any passengers are safe by moving out of the way of traffic while you wait for emergency responders and police to arrive.
Hopefully, you had the presence of mind to take a photo with your phone of the vehicle as it drives away. Write down the license number. Even a partial one may help. Write down the vehicle’s make, model, color, and distinguishing features while the details are fresh in your memory.
If you are not hurt too badly, take videos and photos. Document the accident scene. Interview any bystanders who witnessed what happened. Record their names and contact information.
Check to see if any security cameras may have caught the accident. When the police arrive, make sure you file a police report and get a copy of it.
Call a Lawyer
Your attorney will help protect your rights, evaluate your case, and tell you if you can file a claim by reviewing your insurance and discussing your options with you.
The success of your case depends on many factors, such as:
- Can the hit-and-run driver be found?
- Do you carry uninsured motorist coverage or no-fault insurance?
- Do you have Medpay insurance that will cover your medical expenses?
- Will your insurance policy pay a claim for collision damages?
- Can you file a claim with your state’s crime compensation board?
- Are any third-party claims possible, such as suing a company after being hit by their stolen commercial vehicle?
If you can locate the driver, you can file a lawsuit for damages and make a claim against any insurance that the driver had or sue the driver if there is no insurance.
When you experience a hit-and-run accident, not only will you have to deal with the accident itself, but you also have to deal with a criminal case.
If the police find the driver, you may need to testify against that person in a criminal trial. This trial may be frightening and is one of the main reasons we highly recommend you have legal counsel to represent you. Call (281) 475-4535 for your free consultation.