You can track down a hit-and-run driver by hiring a Dallas car accident lawyer to help you collect evidence, piece together how the accident happened, and figure out the at-fault driver’s identity.
It is important to note that not all hit-and-run drivers can be found. Even if you never find the driver who hit you, there are other ways to collect financial compensation after a hit-and-run collision.
Tracking Down a Hit-and-Run Driver
As a civilian and an accident survivor, it is not your job to find the driver who hit you. That is the responsibility of the police, the insurance company, and, if you hire one, your personal injury attorney. These parties can:
- Visit the accident scene
- Collect documentary evidence, such as video footage that caught the other car on tape
- Speak to everyone who was involved in and/or witnessed the crash for details of the other car’s make, model, general appearance, or movements
- Create detailed reports about what happened and who is liable
With that said, if you do not know who caused your accident, there are certain actions you yourself can take to help track down a hit-and-run driver. These include:
- Reporting your hit-and-run accident to the police as quickly as possible. The sooner the police start investigating, the more evidence may be available for them to use in tracking down the liable party.
- Telling your car accident attorney everything that you know about the collision. Do not hold anything back, even if you are afraid that it will make you look bad. It is your lawyer’s job to help you, and they can only do this if they have all the facts.
- Collecting evidence at the scene before the police arrive, such as photographs of the general environment or the names of witnesses, and turning these materials over to your attorney.
How Long Does it Take to Track Down a Hit-and-Run Driver?
That depends on many factors, including the amount and quality of available evidence and the competence of those investigating your accident.
If you get lucky, it may not take long at all to find the at-fault driver. For example, if a traffic cam caught their license plate on tape, the police may be able to bring them in within a few days.
Unfortunately, most cases are more challenging than this. Your car accident attorney and the other investigators may have to spend weeks or months sifting through evidence for clues to the hit-and-run driver’s identity. While they do this, you can take other steps, such as filing an insurance claim, to keep your case going.
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Suing Your Hit-and-Run Driver After Tracking Them Down
If you can track down a hit-and-run driver, you have a limited amount of time to take legal action against them. This deadline is called a statute of limitations. How long the statute is varies from state to state and even from case to case: in Texas, for instance, it is usually two years, according to Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 16.003.
Assuming that you find the hit-and-driver in time to file a lawsuit against them, a motor vehicle accident attorney can help you with your case by:
- Coming up with a strategy for handling your case
- Collecting evidence that proves the at-fault party caused your injuries
- Quantifying your injuries, which includes determining how much you can seek in both economic and non-economic damages
- Sending a demand letter to the at-fault driver’s insurer that explains how much money you want and why
- Negotiating with the insurance company to get you the right amount of compensation based on all of your losses
- Representing you at trial if your case ends up going to court
- Keeping you updated and informed about your case’s progress
Not every case goes to court. Even after your legal representative starts preparing for a trial, it is not too late for the insurance company to change its mind and offer you a settlement, even at the last minute.
Getting Compensation Without Identifying the Hit-and-Run Driver
Unfortunately, there are some cases where a hit-and-run driver simply cannot be found. This could be due to a lack of witnesses or a general lack of evidence.
Not knowing who caused your crash can make you feel angry and upset. These feelings are understandable. Still, not being able to identify the hit-and-run driver does not have to stop you from recovering fair compensation after an accident.
Filing a Claim With Your Insurer After a Hit-and-Run
According to the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI), your uninsured or underinsured motorist policy should cover at least some of the damage done by the hit-and-run driver. If you have such a policy, you could collect money for:
- The cost of repairing or replacing your car
- The diminished value of your car
- Wages you lost due to your inability to work
- Medical bills incurred due to accident-related injuries
A car accident law firm can help you file a claim with your insurer and deal with any complications along the way, such as an unfair denial.
Suing a Third Party After a Hit-and-Run
In some hit-and-run accident cases, there may be more than one liable party for you to seek compensation from. Even if you never find the at-fault driver, you might still be able to get money from:
- A third driver who was involved in the accident
- A car part manufacturer
- A mechanic or maintenance team
When your lawyer investigates the car crash, they can look for signs that a third party might share responsibility for the event. If they find anything, they will let you know and help you figure out how to proceed.
877-239-4878Available 24/7 | 356 Days | se habla español
Want to Track Down Your Hit-and-Run Driver?
Loncar Lyon Jenkins wants to help you recover the right amount of compensation so you can move on with your life. Call us as soon as possible after an accident. Members of our team are waiting to tell you more about how we can track down a hit-and-run driver or pursue compensation from your own insurance policy.