The law requires drivers to stop their vehicles when they get into an accident. If a driver flees the scene of a crash and is caught, they can be charged with a crime. However, these criminal penalties do not get your car fixed or your medical bills paid.
Contact a local lawyer who represents people injured in hit-and-run car accidents in Iberville Parish. Our accident attorneys could advise you on the best way to get compensation for your losses. Even if the hit-and-run driver is never located, there might be sources of insurance coverage that could help you financially recover from the accident.
What To Do After a Hit-and-Run Accident
The steps a driver takes after a wreck can make a big difference in the success of a compensation claim. Keeping a cool head is especially important—and particularly challenging—after a hit and run.
A driver who is conscious after the accident and able to do so should call the emergency services number. Making a report to the police is the most effective step someone can take to identify the driver who left the scene. The police will conduct a thorough investigation and their accident report might contain valuable information that could support an injured person’s compensation claim.
Get a Medical Evaluation Immediately
It is critical to see a healthcare professional as soon as possible after any vehicle accident. People often feel okay after a wreck and just want to get home to their families or continue their errands, but that is a mistake. A prompt medical exam is necessary to rule out or proactively treat injuries that might not present symptoms until a day or more after the crash.
Importantly, a medical record generated soon after an accident is helps support that a claimant’s injuries are related to the accident. A medical record generated later could lead an insurance company to question whether the claimant sustained their injuries in the hit-and-run incident.
Someone in a hit-and-run accident is likely suffering from mental shock as well as the physical impact of the accident. However, if possible, it is helpful if people involved in the crash record their impressions of the accident immediately afterward. Scribble down some details in a notebook or record thoughts and observations into a phone.
Collect the contact information of anyone who witnessed the crash. Take note of the date and time of the crash and record the location as precisely as possible. Check whether there are businesses near the crash site that might have surveillance footage. All this information could be valuable if an injured person later decides to file a claim for compensation.
Talk To an Attorney
A hit-and-run accident survivor should reach out to a Plaquemine injury lawyer as soon as possible after the accident. A legal professional could advise about actions to take and avoid in the wreck’s aftermath. They could also provide coaching about how to respond to insurance company calls and help an injured driver develop a strategy to assert their right to fair compensation.
Identifying Sources of Insurance Coverage
Ideally, the police will identify a driver who flees the scene, and an injured person can file a claim directly against that person. However, if that motorist is uninsured or has few assets, obtaining adequate compensation from them could be impossible. In some cases, the police never locate the offending driver.
An Iberville Parish attorney could assess all possible avenues for securing compensation after a hit-and-run accident. An injured person could turn to their own insurance company if they have optional uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage or personal injury protection (PIP). Insurers are sometimes reluctant to pay these claims even when the driver bought the coverage—a legal professional could force the insurance company to meet its obligations.
Sometimes, other parties could have partial responsibility for the accident. For example, if a driver received an injury from a deploying airbag, it could be possible to sue the vehicle and airbag manufacturer for the harm the product caused. An accident lawyer would explore all reasonable possibilities to identify sources of coverage.
Consult an Iberville Parish Attorney About a Hit-and-Run Accident Claim
Hit-and-run crashes can be more challenging to navigate than other car accidents. Working with a lawyer who knows the system and how to find appropriate sources of compensation can make things easier.