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How To Recover Compensation From a Hit-and-Run Accident

Published on Jun 4, 2024 at 3:47 pm in Car Accidents.

How to recover compensation from a hit-and-run accident

A hit-and-run accident occurs when a driver flees the scene without stopping to exchange information or provide aid.

Unfortunately, these accidents can happen anywhere.

In most car crashes, the victims can identify the responsible party and collect compensation from them. But what happens when the driver is unknown? Well, that can lead to several challenges.

Victims of hit-and-run accidents often face an uphill battle when trying to recover damages. In many cases, identifying the responsible driver can be difficult. Let’s examine how to recover compensation from a hit-and-run accident in Jackson, MS.

What Is a Hit-and-Run?

In Mississippi, these accidents occur when a driver involved in a collision leaves the scene without stopping.

Under Section 63-3-405, anyone in an accident must stop at the scene, especially if there are injuries or a fatality. If the other driver fails to do this, they can face imprisonment for up to one year and a fine of up to $5,000. Any incident that results in a permanent disability, disfigurement, or death, leaving the scene of a crime becomes a felony.

For those victims of a hit-and-run, there is another question: recovering compensation for a car accident. What can you do to increase your chances of finding another driver and seeking reimbursement for your expenses?

Steps To Take After an Accident Where the At-Fault Driver Leaves the Scene

If you are involved in a hit-and-run accident, gathering as much information as possible can help to identify the driver. With that, you can hold those people responsible for your injuries and damages. Here are a few steps to take:

  • Check for injuries: Always check for injuries. If anyone is hurt, call 911 for medical assistance. Your safety and the safety of others should be your top priority.
  • Contact law enforcement: You will want to notify the police immediately. Provide them with as much information as possible, including details about the hit-and-run vehicle. Remember not to chase the fleeing driver; leave that to law enforcement.
  • Gather information: After a collision, you will want to collect as much information about the incident as possible. If you can, note the make, model, color, and any visible damage to that vehicle. If you saw the driver, describe their appearance, such as hair color or clothing. Also, don’t forget to be aware of their direction of escape.

Hopefully, someone else saw the incident. These eyewitness statements might be able to track down the responsible driver. Additionally, most businesses have security cameras. Police may be able to check to see that they captured the incident.

By following these steps, you might be able to get all the necessary information to file an insurance claim or pursue legal action against the responsible party.

Options for Compensation When the Responsible Motorist Flees

With the above information, the police can locate and arrest the offending driver. Now, you have an option to pursue a lawsuit against them to recover compensation. In these cases, the accident claims proceed like any other car crash. Your lawyer will file the necessary paperwork to start working with their insurance company.

If they don’t have insurance or the insurer does not want to pay, you may have to take them to court. In the best scenarios, you can recover all the expenses related to this accident.

But what happens if the driver is never found or identified?

Unfortunately, some of these individuals may never face justice for the harm they caused. In these situations, you might need to file a claim under your own insurance. With uninsured motorist coverage, you can get compensated for damages and losses incurred due to the accident.

For those medical payments, you will need to look at the coverage limits under your policy. However, if your expenses are above those limits, you might have to pay out of pocket.

In most cases, your vehicle will need to be repaired. Collision coverage can help cover those costs.

In some instances, paying out of pocket for these expenses may be the last resort. In the event that the driver is ever found, and you are within the statute of limitations, then you still have an opportunity to pursue a personal injury case.

You may want to consult with an experienced lawyer to assess your options.  Recovering compensation can be challenging, but it’s not impossible.

If you’ve been a victim of a hit-and-run, take action now. Your rights matter, and the legal team at Pittman, Roberts & Welsh, PLLC, is ready to help.

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