If you’ve been injured in a hit and run car accident, you might wonder how you can prove that you weren’t at fault. Indeed, you don’t have any of the typical information that is available after a collision, such as the identity of the at fault driver, the at fault driver’s insurance information, photos of the damage to the at fault driver’s vehicle, or statements from the at fault driver. Although hit and run cases are more challenging than typical car accident cases where the parties exchange information, they can be won.
If you’ve been injured by a hit and run driver, you should contact an Atlanta car accident lawyer. The lawyers at Allen & Scofield Injury Lawyers, LLC will investigate the crash in an attempt to determine the identity of the at fault driver. Even if the at fault driver cannot be found, we can still help you pursue an insurance claim against your own uninsured motorist insurance carrier.
Hit And Run Accidents in Georgia
Georgia Code section 40-6-270 requires all drivers that are involved in an accident resulting in injury or death to immediately stop their vehicle at the scene and remain at the scene to exchange information and ensure that the injured victims obtain the medical care that they need. Failing to remain at the accident scene can lead to felony charges if someone is badly injured or killed, or misdemeanor charges if there are minor injuries caused by the accident.
A driver that collides with you is specifically required to do the following:
- Provide his or her name, address, insurance information, and vehicle registration number to the other parties
- Share license information if he or she is a commercial driver
- Provide assistance by calling for emergency help to injured parties if requested
- Remain at the scene and wait for law enforcement
- Move vehicle if possible to avoid obstructing traffic
Unfortunately, there are still thousands of hit and run collisions in Georgia every year. A substantial number of hit and run car accidents cause catastrophic injuries. The American Automobile Association reports that there were 72 fatal hit and run accidents in Georgia in 2016 alone.
Common Hit And Run Accident Scenarios
Sometimes, the at fault driver decides to flee the scene instead of dealing with the consequences of their actions if they cause a serious collision. While you might not think it is possible to identify the fleeing party, any bit of information can help.
For instance, if the at fault driver never stops, you should carefully observe his vehicle to collect as much information about it as possible – the color, make, and model, for instance. You should also write down the license plate number. The more information you can collect, the likelier it is that the police will be able to track down the driver.
Tracking down the driver is important, because if the driver can be located, you can then make a claim against the driver’s auto liability insurance carrier, as well as your own underinsured motorist carrier if the liability insurance policy doesn’t fully cover your injuries and you purchased stacking underinsured motorist coverage.
Some of the most common hit and run accidents involve:
- Pedestrians being struck – Pedestrians are often hit by cars through no fault of their own. A recent nighttime hit and run accident in Hall County left two victims badly injured.
- Drunk drivers – Intoxicated drivers may not know that they hit something, or they may flee the scene out of fear of facing legal consequences. An intoxicated driver fled the scene after hitting and seriously injuring a road maintenance worker in Roswell in December of 2018.
- Road rage or careless driving – Drivers that are speeding, angered, or simply distracted often hit other vehicles or even pedestrians. A hit and run accident in Barrow County caused by a reckless driver recently resulted in the death of a man who was walking his dog on the sidewalk.
- The driver has a suspended license – People who are not supposed to be driving often flee the scene of car accidents that they are involved in. That can happen even if it’s not clear that they are at fault.
Hit & Run Damages: Recover The Compensation You Need
Hit and run accidents can be devastating. Compensation for hit and run victims is more difficult to obtain than if the victim was injured by a known motorist. In fact, auto insurance companies frequently deny hit and run claims – even when the at fault driver is known.
For instance, more often than not, the hit and run driver makes up a story that goes something like this: “I own the car, but I wasn’t the one driving it … the driver also didn’t have my permission to drive my car.” As ridiculous as that excuse is, the insurance company will typically offer you a low ball settlement or deny the claim until you prove with certainty that the owner of the vehicle was driving it, or that the driver was using the vehicle with the owner’s permission.
A veteran hit and run accident attorney like At Allen & Scofield Injury Lawyers, LLC, will help you defeat the insurance company’s dirty tactics in the following ways:
- Investigate the identity of the other party – We will work closely with law enforcement to make sure everything is done to help locate the person that fled the scene of your accident. That means obtaining witness statements, reviewing security and traffic camera footage, and providing any vehicle identification information to the police officers so that they can try and locate in the vehicle in their electronic registration database.
- Negotiate for an acceptable settlement – Even if the hit-and-run motorist cannot be located, we can still help you pursue an uninsured motorist claim against your insurance carrier and negotiate a reasonable settlement. We have decades of experience negotiating with insurance companies for settlements to help our clients move on with their lives.
- Win in court – Your hit and run accident lawyer may have to take your case to trial to recover fair compensation for your losses. Our legal team recovered tens of millions of dollars for auto collision victims.
Injured in a Hit and Run? Allen & Scofield Injury Lawyers, LLC Can Help
Recovering the compensation that you deserve following a hit-and-run collision can be challenging. The attorneys at Allen & Scofield Injury Lawyers, LLC have over three decades of experience successfully litigating insurance claims. If the insurance company denies your claim, or refuses to pay you what you deserve, we will be glad to take them to court to hold them accountable.