When a motorist’s negligent conduct causes injury to another, the driver or his/her insurer may be held accountable for certain medical expenses, pain, and suffering, lost wages, limitations caused by permanent injury and other losses. However, when the offending party flees the scene, the options are more limited. Just what impact does a hit-and-run driver have on a victim with serious injuries?
Even in such cases, a car accident lawyer can help a client to identify various sources of help that may still exist. Here, we’ve compiled a list of some things to consider if you’ve been injured by a hit and run driver. We encourage you to contact us about your specific case to see how we can help you. Hit and runs can be difficult emotionally, financially and logistically, and we are always ready to help you sort through this situation. Hopefully, these pointers will help illuminate some options for you.
Provisions in One’s Own Car Insurance
Many policies provide up to $10,000 or more for initial emergency medical treatment and required follow-up. Some policies may include a medical payments rider that will pay up to an additional $5,000 or more for treatment.
Personal Health Insurance
One’s medical insurance can often be a great help in such situations. Although a deductible and a co-pay will likely be factors, health insurance often addresses many of the medical expenses that arise when one is hurt by a hit-and-run motorist.
Personal Disability Insurance
An injured person that has a disability policy that may address wages lost because of an inability to go back to work for a time. Such policies will often pay a set percentage of one’s salary or wages. Disability coverage will not replace all work income, but a substantial percentage will often be covered.
Hit-and-Run Offender Identified Later
Since knowingly fleeing the scene of an accident with injuries is a serious crime, law enforcement often devotes significant resources to locate the alleged perpetrator. A witness that noted a license plate number may be very valuable in this regard. Even general descriptions of the offending vehicle can lead experienced investigators to the motorist.
Once the alleged at-fault motorist is identified, the attorney for an injured person can pursue the driver and/or insurer via personal injury litigation filed in civil court. Sometimes, a settlement can be negotiated that addresses a victim’s losses and expenses without the need for a full trial.
State Victim’s Compensation Fund
Once an at-fault driver is identified by law enforcement, a prosecution and conviction for fleeing the scene of the accident may eventually occur. Then, even if the convicted driver has inadequate assets and no insurance, a state’s crime victim’s compensation fund may be a source of funds. Finally, the offending driver may be ordered to compensate the injured party as a condition of a probationary sentence.
It can be reassuring to know that there are other sources of compensation when a pedestrian, passenger or other driver suffers injuries as the result of a fleeing motorist.
An attorney focused on this area of personal injury law can help a person to sort through the complex issues that may arise after a serious accident. Please contact us for a no-cost initial consultation.