Hit and run accidents are terrible events that can lead to severe injuries. A hit and run is a crime that is taken very seriously in all parts of the country. Victims of these crimes do have some rights. If you are the victim of a hit and run accident, then you should know how this crime is handled legally.
What A Hit and Run Accident Is
A hit and run accident is something very specific defined by the law. This is a type of accident where an individual hits a pedestrian, another vehicle or a piece of property and then drives away. This is illegal in almost every jurisdiction. The driver of the vehicle is required to stop if an accident occurs. Various laws might require the driver to take the injured person to a hospital, notify the police and provide valid contact information to the injured party.
A person accused of a hit and run will be pursued criminally. The person might be charged with a felony depending on the circumstances. Hit and run cases can be difficult because it might be very hard to find the person who actually committed the crime. Victims of hit and runs often do not have clear details that can be used to locate the perpetrator. Fortunately, law enforcement will investigate the crime and attempt to bring the accused driver to justice. The driver could face serious time in jail or prison if caught.
Filing a Civil Case
Victims of a hit and run are entitled to file a civil case against the driver. The fact that the driver faces criminal charges can often make these types of cases easier. It is still important to contact a hit and run accident lawyer if you are considering filing a civil case. A civil case can allow you to recover some of the money that you lost or had to spend in order to cope with the injury caused by the hit and run accident. An attorney can help you to file and move through the civil claims process.
Compensation That Can Be Won
You can sue for many different things in civil court. You can request compensation for all of your medical bills. This includes bills in the future for treatments that you will require. If the accident left you unable to work, then you might be able to recover the wages that you lost. You might even be able to ask for money for punitive damages or pain and suffering. A hit and run accident lawyer can help with this. An attorney might be able to show that the actions of the driver were so outrageous that extra compensation is required.
Court Cases and Settlements
Many hit and run cases are settled before hearings start. You might be negotiating with an insurance company or the actual driver directly. If a settlement does not occur, then you will need to prove your case during a trial. This is when you will need a hit and run accident lawyer. An experienced lawyer can handle insurance companies and represent you in court. An attorney can greatly increase the chance that you will recover compensation for your injuries.