Hit-and-run accidents are complex legal matters. Without knowing the at-fault driver’s identity, you may not know where (or how) to pursue financial recovery. On top of dealing with serious injuries, you may have endless questions about your legal rights and options.
When you partner with a hit-and-run accident attorney, they can create a legal strategy and resolve your case. They can even employ a host of measures to locate the at-fault driver and hold them accountable for your losses.
Read on to learn more about hit-and-run car accidents, your legal options, and how a car accident attorney can help you hold a hit and run driver responsible.
There Are Many Benefits to Hiring a Hit-and-Run Accident Lawyer
Rather than managing a complex legal case on your own, hire an attorney because:
- They know the ins and outs of personal injury laws and can move your case through the claims process.
- They can investigate the collision and gather evidence of your losses.
- They can handle all communications with the insurance company, so your only responsibility is on recovering.
- An attorney can work with third-party field consultants to identify the at-fault party. For instance, they may work with accident reconstruction specialists to learn what vehicle hit you. They may also work with law enforcement, too.
- An attorney can evaluate your financial recovery options. For instance, many motorists have underinsured/uninsured protection coverage. This could provide an option for seeking financial recovery—even if your attorney never locates the at-fault party.
These are several reasons why injured victims hire hit-and-run accident attorneys. On top of this list, attorneys can provide the support and guidance wanted to navigate the legal process.
An Attorney Can Manage All Case-Related Communications
You deserve to focus your time and energy on recovering. You shouldn’t have to field text messages, phone calls, and emails from your case’s involved parties.
A lawyer can handle communications with:
- Claims adjusters
- Insurance representatives
- The other party’s lawyers
- Law enforcement officials
- Healthcare professionals
- Third-party field consultants, such as accident reconstruction specialists
- Courtroom officials
When you have legal help, if someone involved in your case calls you, refer them to your legal team. You don’t have to give a recorded statement or negotiate on your own. You have options.
An Attorney Can Apply State Law to Your Case
Many people don’t understand that insurance claims can quickly morph into legal matters. When that happens, it’s important to know how the law applies.
An attorney with experience in hit-and-run cases understands:
- How the state understands fault, negligence, and liability
- The state’s filing deadlines for lawsuits and insurance claims
- How courtroom procedure works
- How the state views and regulates insurance claims
You don’t have to attend law school and get a degree to understand personal injury law. Instead, you can entrust your case to a professional with experience.
A Legal Professional Can Address Your Case’s Many Challenges
There’s no such thing as a straightforward hit-and-run accident case. Even if you find the at-fault driver, there could be disputes regarding fault, liability, and your damages’ cost.
Using their experience and legal strategies, a lawyer can contest:
- Accusations of fault. Some insurers go to great lengths to deny honest people compensation. They may even accuse you of causing the collision, even if it’s obvious that another party did. Using your case’s evidence (such as traffic camera footage and eyewitness testimony), your lawyer can refute allegations of blame and fight for what you need.
- Any lowball settlement offers. The liable insurer may offer compensation—but not nearly enough to cover your losses. You don’t have to accept less than what you need. With an attorney, they can negotiate a higher settlement by citing the liable policy, citing your damages’ cost, and protecting you from bad faith insurance practices.
- Unfair delays. As noted, insurance companies don’t always act in good faith. When this happens, a lawyer can implement a legal strategy that meets your situation. They may also file a lawsuit, if that could yield compensation for your hardships.
You don’t have to combat any claim-related challenges with an attorney on your side. While you focus on healing and moving forward, they can address any obstacles that affect your case.
Insurance Companies Have a Wealth of Resources at Their Disposal
Going head-to-head with an insurance company may feel like David going up against Goliath. After all, you’re an injured person with limited resources. Big-name insurers have teams of lawyers, consultants, and other professionals with one goal: preventing you from seeking damages.
Having a lawyer helps you level the playing field. It also grants you access to legal resources that could literally make or break your case. By entrusting your matters to an injury lawyer, you put your case in the hands of a trained professional.
Hiring a Hit-and-Run Accident Attorney Can Secure Recovery for Your Losses
With an attorney’s help, you could recover a host of damages following a hit-and-run accident. Some of these losses comprise:
Economic Damages (Losses With Financial Values)
Economic damages refer to the compensation for objectively verifiable monetary losses. These damages intend to make a person financially whole again after a collision.
Using receipts, bills, and invoices, your attorney can pursue:
- Property damage costs: You can seek recovery for the cost of replacing or repairing your vehicle.
- Medical bills. You deserve recovery for the full cost of treating your injuries, which may include reimbursement for surgeries, hospital stays, and medications.
- Lost income: Your injuries may require you to miss time from work. You could recoup lost tips, bonuses, income, and commissions. You can also seek damages for any long-term harm to your earning power.
- Out-of-pocket expenses. You may have spent money on various injury-related expenses in the immediate aftermath of your collision. Those compensable losses may comprise childcare costs, temporary transportation costs, and other related fees.
Non-Economic Damages (Your Non-Financial Losses)
Non-economic damages refer to compensation for subjective and non-monetary losses. These damages compensate the injured party for the physical and emotional issues they had to deal with.
A hit-and-run accident attorney can seek:
- Pain and suffering: This compensates the injured person for the pain, anguish, and inconvenience their injuries caused.
- Emotional distress: Your accident may have caused mental health complications, such as anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). You may deserve reimbursement for those expenses.
- Loss of enjoyment of life: Your injury may affect your ability to raise your children, partake in certain hobbies, and accomplish other things. Your claim or lawsuit could account for these losses.
Wrongful Death-Related Expenses (if You Lost a Loved One)
Many hit-and-run accidents involve fatalities. If you lost a loved one, working with a lawyer can give you time to focus on grieving.
They can also pursue:
- Funeral expenses. If you lost a loved one in a hit-and-run accident, you could recoup the compensation needed to pay for their funeral. A settlement could account for the casket, burial plot, and embalming.
- Loss of consortium. You can recover compensation if you lost a loved one due to another party’s negligence. Whether you can recover that damage depends on your relationship with the decedent.
- Final healthcare expenses. Your loved one may have required medical attention before their passing, such as life support or hospice. You shouldn’t have to shoulder those expenses; the liable party should.
- Your loved one’s lost income. Your family could find themselves in dire financial straits after losing a breadwinner. You could recoup the cost of your loved one’s anticipated earnings.
If your loved one could have filed a personal injury case had they lived, you can file a wrongful death case. You can learn more when you consult with a wrongful death lawyer serving hit-and-run accident claimants.
An Attorney Can Determine the Value of Your Losses After a Hit-and-Run
There is no standard value for hit-and-run accident cases. When you partner with an attorney, they evaluate your specific circumstances to identify what you need. As noted, they can use documentation to assert the cost of your economic losses. Matters change when it comes to non-economic losses, such as pain and suffering.
To determine those losses, your attorney may answer these questions:
- How long will your injury last?
- What types of injuries did you suffer?
- Could anyone else have contributed to the collision?
- Can you perform the tasks you did before the accident?
- How much time will you miss from work?
- Did anyone pass away in the collision?
The answers to these questions give an attorney options for moving forward.
The Buckhead Law Group Gets Results
We get you the results you need and provide legal advice through the whole court process. Don’t be unprepared when you could have one of the best legal teams out there to assist you. Reach out to us today to get your consultation.
A Hit-and-Run Accident Lawyer Can File Your Case Within the Correct Deadline
To resolve your hit-and-run accident case, your lawyer must adhere to various filing deadlines. One of those deadlines is your state’s statute of limitations. Yet, understanding this deadline can get complicated—especially if you don’t know the at-fault driver’s identity.
Your lawyer can identify your lawsuit’s filing deadline and take appropriate action within that period. They may even find that another party (and not the hit-and-run motorist) caused your collision. Your legal team can explain more if that’s an option.
Your Lawyer Can Answer Your Case-Related Questions
Googling your legal options only goes so far. Before long, you’ll want questions specific to your situation, including how much you can recover and how. Many personal injury firms offer free case reviews where you can ask:
What Happens if the Police Can’t Find the At-Fault Driver?
You can still seek damages even if the police don’t find the at-fault party. As noted, you could file a claim with your own insurance provider to recover damages. This avenue could offer reimbursement for your medical bills, lost income, and other related damages.
Still, filing an insurance claim (even with your own insurer) isn’t easy. The insurer could blame you for the collision, even contesting that the at-fault driver doesn’t exist. A personal injury lawyer could manage all communications with the insurer, so you can focus on healing.
How Long Does It Take to Resolve a Hit-and-Run Accident Case?
Your case’s progression ultimately depends on many factors unique to your situation. For instance, if your insurer readily accepts liability, you could resolve your claim within a few weeks. Matters change if it’s necessary to find the negligent driver. In that case, it could take months to achieve a fair outcome.
When you partner with an injury attorney, they manage all of your case’s obligations, and that includes preventing any pitfalls that could derail your case’s progression.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Hit-and-Run Accident Lawyer?
Many personal injury firms operate on a contingency-fee basis. This arrangement makes it possible for injured people to seek compensation without worrying about payment.
If you partner with an attorney who offers help on contingency:
- You pay nothing upfront or out of pocket.
- You agree to a payment plan that’s outlined in writing (so you know what to expect).
- The attorney doesn’t charge retainers or hourly fees.
- You owe nothing if your case doesn’t reach a fair outcome.
What Happens if the Police Find the Other Party and Arrest Them?
Using the latest in forensic technology, the police may find and arrest the hit-and-run driver. Afterward, the motorist could face a criminal conviction, resulting in fines, jail time, and even license suspension. You may wonder: “What does this mean for my personal injury case?
A conviction will not yield compensation for your medical bills and other related expenses. However, it could serve as valuable evidence in your case. A conviction would show the liable insurer, judge, and jury that a negligent driver caused your accident.
What Injuries Allow Me to Seek Compensation?
If you suffered harm in a hit-and-run collision, and you have out-of-pocket healthcare expenses, you can seek financial recovery.
Some injuries that may warrant compensation in your case may include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Fractured bones
- Nerve damage
- Internal bleeding
- Organ damage
- Amputated limbs
- Exposure to toxic chemicals
- Soft-tissue injuries, such as whiplash, strains, and sprains
There are many reasons to consider hiring a hit-and-run accident attorney. They have one primary goal: to recover compensation. Time is limited in these cases. So, if you suffered harm in a collision, it’s vital to consider your legal options as soon as possible.