What’s worse than being injured in a traffic accident? Being injured in a hit-and-run accident.
We know that going through the stress and pain of a traffic injury only to watch the other driver cruise away without a word is extremely upsetting. However, you may still have a strong personal injury case even if the driver who injured you didn’t wait around to exchange information.
If you have been injured in a hit-and-run incident, here’s what you need to know:
What is Considered a Hit-and-Run Accident?
A hit-and-run accident is any car accident in which the person responsible does not stop to provide information or render aid. Even the best case scenario of a hit-and-run incident still involves trauma and expenses for the victim and serious consequences for the driver responsible. Sadly, many of these cases involve injury and even death.
What to Do if You’re the Victim of a Hit and Run Accident
In the unfortunate event that you are the victim of a hit-and-run car accident, the first and most important thing you should do is seek medical attention immediately. Go to the emergency room and follow your doctor’s instructions carefully. Be very diligent about complying with the doctors’ follow-up instructions even after you leave the hospital, including taking prescribed medications, attending physical therapy, and preparing for surgery if necessary. Do your best to keep track of all of your medical records and bills during this time.
The second most important thing to do is to gather and record as many details as you can about the scene of the accident and the car that hit you. This includes:
- Filing a report the the police as soon as possible after the accident
- Noting details about the other car, such as color, size, make, model, and especially the license plate number if you can see it
- If your injuries permit, taking photos of the scene of the accident and the damage to your car
- Report the incident to your own insurance company promptly.
What Happens Next
This is where a good personal injury lawyer comes in handy. If you were able to get identifying information for the other driver, such as their license plate number, we can request information from the Secretary of State’s office to find the driver of that vehicle and proceed with a personal injury case against them and their insurance company.
What if you didn’t get the license plate number? What if we find the other driver, but they don’t have insurance? It is likely that you still have a strong personal injury case!
If there is no adverse insurance company to be found, we will instead work with your insurance company. Your car insurance includes what is called uninsured motorist coverage, which exists just for situations like this. An uninsured motorist case is similar to any other personal injury case: once you have fully recovered from your injuries, we will spend some time gathering all of the information relevant to your case and working with the insurance company and possibly their lawyers to achieve the best possible result for you, our client. One of the good things about an uninsured motorist case is that you do not need to sue your insurance company or go to trial. If a settlement cannot be agreed to , disputes are resolved by arbitration.
If you have questions about hit-and-run accidents or if you have been injured in a car accident, reach out to us for a free consultation! You can contact us at siglaw.com or by calling (312) 258-8188.