If you have been injured in a hit-and-run accident, call 911 and get medical help immediately. Even if your injuries seem “minor,” there may be hidden injuries with delayed symptoms that could threaten your health if you do not get prompt treatment.
Once you are medically stable, it is safe to start considering the legal options available to you. A car accident lawyer can review these options with you and fight your case for you.
Medical Care for Hit-and-Run Accident Injuries
The treatment you need after a hit-and-run car accident will depend on what kinds of injuries you suffered and how serious they are. Your doctor might recommend:
- Diagnostic tests
- Follow-up appointments
It is understandable to be concerned about the cost of treatment, but do not avoid seeing a doctor or ignore your doctor’s advice after an accident. Prompt treatment can help prove your case—and make it easier for you to get paid for things like medical bills—by:
- Showing that you were concerned enough to get help right after the accident, showing that the accident really is the cause of your injuries
- Generating a car accident report that your lawyer can review and glean evidence from
- Generating medical records that establish the nature and cost of your injuries
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Hiring a Hit-and-Run Car Accident Lawyer
After seeing to your medical needs, you can consult a personal injury lawyer about your legal needs. To find the law firm that is right for you:
- Search online for firms that serve your area and that have dealt with hit-and-run cases before (hit-and-run cases differ from typical car accident cases)
- Call up law firms that seem promising and see what they say about your case (many firms will assess your case for free over the telephone)
- Arrange for an in-person visit so you can have a more in-depth conversation with the firm’s staff and ask any questions you have
Finding a car accident attorney you can count on can be invaluable to both your lawsuit and your well-being. Trying to investigate your accident and navigate the legal system alone is a lot to ask of anyone who has just been through a traumatic event. It is much easier—and safer—to let your lawyer:
- Communicate with others: Your representative can protect your rights by speaking to the other involved parties on your behalf, preventing these other parties from trying to undermine your case.
- Deal with paperwork: With all of the forms a lawsuit can generate, it is easy for a layperson to make a mistake. Your lawyer is familiar with these forms and can fill them out for you.
- Fight for your money: Make sure to select a law firm that is willing to go to trial if necessary, not just negotiate. You want to know that your personal injury representative will stick with you to the end.
When it comes to taking legal action after a hit and run, there is no time to lose. Your right to collect compensation is bound by your state’s statute of limitations, which is a deadline imposed on accident survivors and victims.
As an example, the statute of limitations in Texas is two years from the date of the accident, regardless of whether you were injured or your loved one passed away. This is according to Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 16.003. The law works differently in other states.
Getting Compensation for Hit-and-Run Accident Injuries
In most personal injury and wrongful death cases, you have the option of suing the at-fault party for compensation. In a hit-and-run case, it is much harder to do so, because your lawyer would first have to identify who the hit-and-run driver is. This is not always possible.
Fortunately, there are several ways for you to recover damages if you have been injured in a hit-and-run car accident, including:
- Filing a claim with your insurer: If you have uninsured motorist coverage, that policy should cover damage done by a hit-and-run driver. You can file a claim with your own insurer for losses like medical costs and property damage.
- Suing a different liable party: For example, say that you tried to swerve out of the hit-and-run driver’s way when your steering column malfunctioned. A flaw with your car could be attributable to a negligent mechanic or manufacturer. If this is the case, you can sue them for their role in your crash.
- Suing the hit-and-run driver: If someone does manage to identify and locate the driver who hit you, you and your lawyer can certainly discuss the possibility of seeking damages from them.
Through these channels, you could recover money for some or all of the losses you incurred because of the hit-and-run driver. This includes:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Medical expenses
- Loss of income or earning capacity
- Loss of employment
- Property damage
Suing After Fatal Hit-and-Run Accident Injuries
Hit-and-run accidents are extremely dangerous. Sometimes, they are even fatal: Page 18 of a report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that over 2,500 people in the United States died in hit-and-run crashes in 2020.
If you have been injured in a hit-and-run car accident or if you have lost a loved one in such an accident, you have the same rights: to pursue compensation for your losses. In wrongful death cases, you could be eligible for:
- Loss of society or companionship
- Loss of financial support
- End-of-life expenses
You should never have been put in a situation where you have to consider taking legal action after suffering a grievous injury or loss. Know that you do not have to go through this alone, as there are car accident law firms in your area who would be proud to champion your rights.
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We Manage Hit-and-Run Accident Injury Cases
Loncar Lyon Jenkins can help you figure out what to do if you have been injured in a hit-and-run accident. Start by calling us today for a free case review. We can look for the hit-and-run driver, pursue compensation on your behalf, and defer all attorney’s fees until you get compensation. You are not alone. We are here to help.