Few things are worse than experiencing a dangerous car accident, only to have the guilty party flee the scene immediately. Since all involved motorists are obligated to exchange information after the crash, anyone who departs from the collision before doing so is subject to severe legal consequences. This is especially true if you incurred damages to your property or bodily harm. Such an instance would be called a “hit and run” accident. If you have become a victim of such an incident, it is very important that you act right away and contact an experienced hit and run accident attorney at Reyes Law to ensure all your rights are protected. To get familiar with these rights, see the information below.
What Exactly is a Hit-and-Run Accident?
A hit-and-run car accident is an auto collision in which the negligent driver flees the scene before exchanging information with the victim(s). There is not necessarily a time limit or restrictions such as that that should keep the guilty party present.
Rather, it is the neglect to share their personal information with all others involved that lays the groundwork for the offense. For this reason, if the driver left their contact and insurance details with you and filed a police report, they are not guilty of a hit-and-run, even if they leave the scene more quickly than you would have liked.
Further, hit-and-run accidents are not restricted to a certain environment. This means that they can occur on a city block or and interstate highway. Still, the majority of these collisions involve a parked vehicle – likely, the negligent driver believes that the vehicle owner will be unable to discern fault if they do not stick around.
If you have become the victim of a hit-and-run accident, you are not out of luck. You still have rights that protect you and your property in such a case. These rights are:
- The right to pursue legal action for compensation.
- The right to an attorney to carry out this legal action.
Exercising these rights will be slightly different in a hit-and-run case as compared to a normal collision in which all parties remained and exchanged information. Here are a few things to know about filing your claim.
Exercising Your Rights as the Victim of a Hit-and-Run
With a hit-and-run car accident, you and your lawyer will not be carrying out settlement negotiations with the guilty driver’s insurance provider. Instead, you will have to proceed in these negotiations with your insurer alone. To ensure you can recover these damages, though, you need uninsured motorist coverage. Otherwise, you will not have the means to cover your losses.
As you engage in this process, you must prove that the vehicle belonging to the individual who fled the scene physically collided with your own. If they only caused the incident that led to your car being struck and did not make physical contact, you may not qualify for compensation. Make sure to report the incident within 24 hours as well. Otherwise, you may no longer be eligible to file.
Finally, the best way to protect your rights as the victim of a hit-and-run accident is to hire a car accident lawyer. Your lawyer will defend you each step of the way and ensure that your insurer offers a fair settlement to cover your losses in the absence of the guilty driver.