Home Editor's Pick When Hit-and-Run Leaves No Trace: Steps to Take To Receive Compensation

When Hit-and-Run Leaves No Trace: Steps to Take To Receive Compensation

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In a car accident resulting in catastrophic injuries and damages, you are usually left with a substantial financial burden associated with the damages, such as medical bills and vehicle repair costs.

Fortunately, you can receive compensation for these if the crash results in another driver’s wrongful actions. In most cases, their insurance policy will cover the expenses.

But what happens if the driver flees, you don’t know who they are, and you can’t locate them? In a hit-and-run accident, you may still claim compensation for the damages incurred in a collision through your insurance.

In this article, you will determine the steps to take to ensure that you are adequately compensated for the damages of a hit-and-run crash.

What is a Hit-and-Run Case?

Most, if not all, jurisdictions require all drivers to stop at the accident scene and report to the authorities in the event of a vehicle collision. However, some drivers fail to do this, leaving the victim without contact information or notifying the authorities. In such a case, the driver commits a hit-and-run violation.

Hit-and-run is unlawful in every country, but the penalties for such offenses differ. Typically, hit-and-run drivers can expect legal consequences, including fines, compensation for the injured party, and potential imprisonment.

To avoid being tagged as a hit-and-run driver, make sure to follow the steps below after a car accident:

Stay calm.
Check if all the individuals involved in the crash sustained injuries.
Call 911 and report the accident to the authorities immediately.
Cooperate with the responding officers.
Avoid leaving the scene if the collision is still under investigation.
If you hit a stationary vehicle, make sure to leave any identification details, such as your name and contact number.

Can I Receive Settlement for a Hit-and-Run Accident?

Generally, an injured victim of a collision has the right to file a car accident claim to receive compensation for the damages. This happens if the accident results in injuries or damages and another driver causes it.

In case the at-fault driver tries to flee the scene, the police have the duty to locate them through pieces of evidence, such as the driver’s physical description based on a witness’ account or through their vehicle plate number. You can then initiate a claim against the driver if authorities find them.

As such, you may be entitled to claim compensation for monetary and non-monetary losses like medical bills and emotional distress. You can also include punitive damages in your settlement to punish the driver’s actions. However, the court imposes this based on the severity of your situation. It is best to contact a hit-and-run lawyer who can assess your situation and contend for maximum compensation based on the damages.

What Happens If the Accident Results in NO Damage?

Legally, a driver can only be deemed accountable for an accident if it leads to minor or substantial damages. If the accident causes no harm, the responsible driver has no expenses to address. However, the responsible party should cover the associated costs if the collision results in minimal damage.

Furthermore, there are scenarios where the car accident victim may suffer delayed injuries. For instance, a speeding driver hit you. You felt okay, and you had no visible injuries after the crash. However, you noticed that your shoulders were weakening, and you could no longer lift them. As soon as you had it checked, you discovered that it was due to a significant impact from the collision.

In such circumstances, filing a personal injury claim against the responsible party is necessary to seek compensation for the damages. However, you must prove that your injuries resulted from the accident to be able to do so.

This is why it is best to seek immediate medical care after a collision, even if you think you have no injuries. You should also contact a lawyer for a car accident with no damage to ensure you are appropriately compensated.

Steps to Take To Receive Compensation for a Hit-and-Run Accident

Dealing with a car accident is physically, emotionally, and financially tolling. It gets even more complex if the at-fault driver flees the scene, leaving you with substantial financial losses. Fortunately, there are specific steps you can take to file a compensation claim.

Step 1: Assess Injuries and Seek Immediate Medical Attention.

Calling emergency services and seeking medical assistance is crucial in a car collision. Not only does this ensure your well-being, but it also strengthens your case for a car accident claim.

Keep in mind that car accident injury claims hinge on the existence of documented injuries sustained from the accident. Without proof of injuries, you may not have grounds for a claim.

So, if you fail to receive a medical assessment after the crash and experience delayed-onset injuries following a collision, you may not have sufficient evidence showing the cause of these injuries. In such a case, insurers may dispute the connection between the injuries and the accident, leaving you with zero compensation.

This is why it is best to consult a medical professional promptly after a collision, regardless of apparent injuries, to document any potential damage accurately.

Step 2: Collect Evidence.

Following medical assistance, gathering comprehensive evidence at the accident scene to support your car accident claim is crucial. Remember that even if another driver causes the crash, you can’t win your claim if you don’t have sufficient evidence to prove it.

It is best to obtain the following evidence at the scene:

Photographs capturing the accident scene, vehicle damage, weather conditions, road conditions, and any other relevant details.
Videos of the collision, which may include footage from dash cameras or surveillance systems.
Contact information for witnesses and their testimonies regarding the incident.
Official police report detailing the accident.

Step 3: Report the Accident to the Police.

Although it’s possible to file car accident claims without police reports, having this documentation can expedite the legal process. Police reports contain factual details and assessments of the case that can support your car accident claim.

In the event of a hit-and-run crash, the police report is a vital key to locating your driver. Usually, responding officers gather evidence pointing to the identification and location of the driver. They will also help you find them. So, call 911 and cooperate with the authorities to avoid further complications.

Step 4: Seek Legal Advice.

After sustaining injuries, victims can’t often initiate car accident claims, particularly in cases of severe or life-threatening injuries. Therefore, seeking guidance from a legal professional following an accident is best.

Aside from this, hit-and-run lawyers can assess your case and collect evidence through their resources to find the at-fault driver. If it is impossible to do so, they can offer the best legal options suitable to your needs.

A personal injury attorney possesses the necessary knowledge, skills, and tools to gather evidence, establish liability, and advocate for your case. They can also assess the extent of damages incurred to ensure fair compensation.

Conclusion

Individuals involved in hit-and-run incidents may feel hopeless about receiving compensation due to their inability to locate the responsible driver. Nevertheless, by following the necessary procedures for initiating a car accident claim, there is a likelihood of obtaining the deserved settlement. With the assistance of a car accident attorney, efforts can be made to identify the liable driver, assess the overall damages, and devise optimal legal strategies tailored to your circumstances.

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