Not only are hit and run car accidents dangerous, they often leave the injured victim frustrated and angry. The negligent driver chooses to not follow the laws and then makes it even more difficult for you to receive compensation for your injuries. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, roughly one 1 in 5 hit and run crashes involve a pedestrian and on top of that, 60% of hit-and-run fatalities have pedestrians as victims. This type of accident can also take its toll mentally because the responsible driver will probably never be caught or held responsible for his/her actions.The term “hit and run” includes both cars that are driving and those that are stationary such as a damaged vehicle in a parking lot. Regardless of the type of hit and run accident you were involved in, it’s important to be informed of your rights and what you should do following a hit and run. Our top-rated attorneys at The Clark Law Office can help you understand your rights and we can also help you get the financial compensation you deserve. Call us today for a free consultation at (517) 347-6900 to discuss your hit and run case. No fees unless you win!
How Do I Seek Compensation If I Don’t Know Who The Other Driver Is?
Fortunately for drivers in Michigan, you can still collect no fault benefits as long as you are driving with auto insurance. Because Michigan is a no-fault state, the identity of the other driver is not required for collecting medical related expenses. Even though your own insurance should pay for your first party benefits, they will often contest hit and run cases. Unfortunately, Michigan’s no fault benefits do not cover pain/suffering and excess economic damages for a hit and run accident. In order to collect pain and suffering, you must rely on the uninsured motorist coverage on your own auto insurance policy. This type of coverage is not required by Michigan law and many motorists are unaware that they are left unprotected. If you are injured by a hit and run driver or injured by a driver with no auto insurance, you are forced to apply your own auto collision coverage to cover the costs.
Is There A Reason Why Drivers Flee The Scene?
Unfortunately, there are a number of reasons why a driver might flee the scene of an accident. Some of of the time, drivers honestly don’t know that they hit something or someone because of adverse weather conditions, loss of focus, or simply being distracted when the impact occurred. There are also drivers who purposely leave the scene because they know that they will be in considerable trouble if they wait for the police. They might have been drinking, on drugs, or actively avoiding law enforcement for some other reason. Another common reason for fleeing the scene is lack out automobile insurance. Michigan has some of the highest auto insurance rates in the country and there is a large percentage of drivers who need transportation but can’t afford insurance premiums. Regardless of these “reasons”, it is illegal to leave the scene of an accident with another vehicle, pedestrian, bicyclist, etc.
Things To Do If You’re Involved In a Hit-And-Run Accident
Seek Immediate Medical Treatment
This goes without saying. If you were involved in a hit and run accident, you should seek immediate medical attention before anything else.
Write Down All The Facts
It’s important that you record as much information as you can. This should include the following pieces of information:
- The exact time and date of the accident
- The specific location of the accident (draw a map w/ landmarks)
- A brief description of both vehicles including type, color, and anything else worth noting.
- The full or partial license plate number if you were able to see it.
- Try to find and talk to any witnesses to the hit-and-run and get their contact info.
- Call the police and file a report with the police and DMV
Do Not Speak To Insurance Companies
If you have been injured as a result of a hit-and-run accident, it is extremely important to contact a car accident lawyer BEFORE talking to any insurance company. You might think that they are looking out for you, but they are in the business of making money at your expense. Very rarely will they simply give you the money that you deserve. Auto insurance representatives and adjusters have lots of experience tricking people into saying compromising statements which damage or reduce the payout of a claim and it can easily be avoided. Don’t make the mistake of making a statement without speaking to an attorney.
Contact and Retain an Attorney
Getting the full compensation that you deserve from a hit-and-run accident is not easy. Our experience auto accident lawyers have handled dozens of hit and run accidents and we can help you investigate the accident, identify the responsible party and hold them accountable for their actions.
Finding The Responsible Driver
While the odds are not in your favor, it is possible to find the driver responsible for the hit and run accident. Many times there are witnesses that can provide just enough of a clue to help find the driver. Another tool or important piece of information available is video. There are surveillance cameras, cell phone videos, ATM cameras, and more which can sometimes lead to finding the driver who fled the scene of the accident. Sometimes physical evidence can left behind including car parts, tire treads, paint, and more. Every minute counts when it comes to locating the driver, so it’s imperative that you take action with a police report and contacting an attorney who can help conduct a proper investigation so that you can be properly compensated for your injuries.
Contact Our Hit and Run Auto Accident Attorneys
Having a skilled attorney for a car accident lawsuit is important, but even more so with a hit and run accident. You will be questioned about the accident from your insurance company and you will want an attorney to help you with police reports, conduct an investigation, and strengthen your case. Our attorneys at The Clark Law Office have 30 years experience handling auto accident and traffic violation cases locally in Michigan. Call us today at (517) 347-6900 to see how we can help you!