Accidents happen every day, but in hit and run cases, the victim can feel especially helpless and alone. The state of Georgia requires drivers to stop at the scene of a crash they are involved in, but that does not always happen. If you or a loved one suffered an injury or property damage from a hit and run accident, contact an Atlanta hit and run accident lawyer. They will work to recover damages from the offending parties. The money will not take your pain and suffering away, but it will allow you to obtain the medical care and security you need to move forward. Call The Weinstein Firm today at (770)HELP-NOW to get the best personal injury lawyers in Atlanta fighting on your side.
What Does Georgia Law Say About Hit and Run Accidents in Atlanta?
Georgia Code § 40-6-270 specifically states that a driver of any motor vehicle involved in an accident resulting in damage, injury or death must stop immediately at or near the scene of the crash. The driver is also required to provide their name, address, insurance information, and registration number to the other driver. If requested, they must also present their driver’s license. Beyond those requirements, Georgia law also states that they must render aid to an injured person by transporting or arranging transportation for them, and if the other driver is unable to communicate, they should contact local law enforcement and emergency medical services.
In Georgia, it is a felony to leave the scene of an accident resulting in serious death or injury. If an accident results in minor injuries and damage, the driver faces misdemeanor charges for leaving the scene of a crash. Georgia Code § 40-6-271 also states that it is a misdemeanor to leave a collision site with an unattended car without providing written notice of name and address. If someone struck your vehicle in a store parking lot while you were inside shopping and drove away without providing their contact information, it is a hit and run case.
Reasons Drivers Leave the Scene of an Accident without Stopping
Motorists are legally required to stay at the scene of an accident. Unfortunately, that does not always happen. In some cases, drivers flee the scene. These drivers face more severe penalties for leaving the scene of an accident, but they are often afraid of the more immediate consequences they face by staying. Drivers in cases handled by a hit and run accident lawyers flee for different reasons, but here are the most common ones:
- An outstanding arrest warrant for the driver
- The vehicle was not registered
- The driver was uninsured
- The driver was driving recklessly
- The driver was texting or engaged in other distracted driving conduct at the time of the crash
- The driver is not a legal United States citizen
- The driver has a suspended license or no valid license
- The driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the crash
No matter the reason, if a driver flees the scene of an accident, it can make recovering damages more difficult for you. If you were the victim in a hit and run accident, contact an Atlanta attorney today. The car accident lawyers at The Weinstein Firm can help you recover damages.
What Should I Do If I Get Hurt in a Hit and Run Accident?
If you or a loved one becomes injured in a hit and run accident, you want to take the right steps to give yourself a better chance at obtaining compensation. If injured in a hit and run, here are the appropriate steps to take in the immediate aftermath:
The first thing you should do is gather information on everything that you remember from the accident. Write down what you remember about the other driver, including what they looked like. You will also want to write down anything you recall about their vehicle. A license plate is extremely helpful, but color, make, and model of the vehicle can also help track down the other driver. Your memory will fade with time, so jot down what you remember immediately.
Contact the Police
You will also need to call the police and file a police report. Give the police officer as much information as you can about the other driver and vehicle. Request a copy of the report for your own records.
With your cell phone or an available camera, take as many pictures as necessary to document the damage to your vehicle and person. Take close up and far away pictures to capture details like skid marks and broken glass. Also, document the area where the accident occurred. Make sure you capture photos of any nearby speed limit or stop signs if they are relevant to the hit and run accident. You will also want to document any visible injuries you received.
Get Witness Information
If anybody saw the collision and stopped to help you, get their names and contact information. These witnesses will help a hit and run accident attorney corroborate your recollection of the accident.
Report the Accident to Your Insurance Provider
After documenting everything, call your insurance company and report the accident. Specifically, state that it was a hit and run car crash, but only provide the time and location. Do not provide any statements or other information to your insurance provider without first talking to a hit and run accident lawyer.
Get Medical Attention
No matter the severity of the injury, seek medical attention. Hit and run accident attorneys recommend visiting a doctor immediately if you sustained an injury in a hit and run accident. Small injuries that seem insignificant can worsen over time. It is important to have every injury documented for insurance claim purposes.
The next step is to contact a hit and run accident lawyer. Even if you’re rattled from the accident and everything that followed, a hit and run accident lawyer can make the process run smoother for you. Do not delay because time is of the essence.
The Statute of Limitations for Atlanta, GA Hit and Run Cases
Getting injured in a hit and run accident is stressful. If you find yourself in that situation, you still need to act quickly because hit and run accident lawyers have a specific timeframe to file cases. In Georgia, the statute of limitations to file a hit and run case is generally two years. Some circumstances, like those involving government entities, must get filed even sooner. If you got injured in a hit and run, do not wait. The more time that passes after a hit and run accident occur, the more difficult it is to process a case. Contact a hit and run accident attorney at The Weinstein Firm as soon as possible.
Types of Hit and Run Cases Our Auto Accident Attorneys Handle
At The Weinstein Firm, our Atlanta, Georgia hit and run accident attorneys see many different kinds of a hit and run cases. Different types of accidents that our hit and run accident lawyers handle are:
- Driver hits a vehicle causing injuries and damage before fleeing the scene
- Driver hits a parked and unattended car and leaves without providing the required contact information
- Driver hits a pedestrian or bicyclist and causes injuries or property damage before fleeing the scene of the accident
If you got injured in an accident fitting any of the scenarios listed above, contact a hit and run accident attorney in Atlanta, Georgia right away. Even if your accident does not specifically fit into the situations listed above, a hit and run accident lawyer can review your case and determine if you have a viable hit and run case.
What Damages Can a Lawyer Recover?
One of the most frustrating aspects of hit and run accidents is that the innocent party often must pay expenses out of their own pockets. These expenses can be significant, but a hit and run accident lawyer can help recoup them. Some of the damages recoverable by a hit and run accident attorney are:
- Costs to repair or replace your automobile
- Lost wages from missed work
- Medical expenses
- Household service costs if the victim becomes disabled
- Property damage
- Funeral expenses and other costs stemming from a wrongful death
Expenses quickly pile up after an automobile accident. Atlanta hit and run accident attorneys can recover damages and help you move on with your life. No amount of money will erase your pain, but it can provide financial security moving forward. The hit and run accident attorneys at The Weinstein Firm will guide you through the complex process and will not rest until you receive a fair settlement.
How Can Hit and Run Accident Attorneys Help Me Recover Damages When a Driver Flees the Scene?
There are some actions to take that can help identify the motorist behind the hit and run accident. Hit and run accident attorneys can review witness accounts, accident reports, and surveillance footage. Law enforcement will also work to find the driver behind the wheel.
If the culprit is not identified, a hit and run accident lawyer can still move forward with your case. At this point, you will turn to your uninsured motorist coverage. This is insurance coverage that the law mandates you have in Georgia. Filing a claim with your own insurance is not the best scenario, but your insurance rates will not go up by filing an uninsured motorist claim.
Do I Need a Hit and Run Accident Lawyer to Handle My Claim Even If It’s My Own Insurance Company?
Yes. Handling a hit and run case can be very complex. Even if you are eligible to file an uninsured motorist claim against your insurance company, you will want an Atlanta hit and run accident lawyer on your side. Hit and run accident attorneys have your best interest in mind and will work to recover the damages owed to you.
Insurance companies will try to pay the lowest amount possible. They want to process cases quickly and scale back your payout to protect their bottom line. A hit and run accident lawyer will show your insurance company that you are serious about your hit and run claim and fight to get you the compensation that you deserve.
What If the Other Driver Was Under the Influence in My Hit and Run Accident?
A driver found guilty of driving under the influence and hit and run will face much more severe penalties. If the other driver in your hit and run accident was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the collision, your chances of punitive damages also increase.
If you think that the other driver was drunk or high at the time of the accident, tell the police officer that you suspect they were under the influence. In Georgia, there are harsh penalties for both fleeing the scene of an accident and driving under the influence. An Atlanta hit and run accident lawyer can help you through the process of dealing with a driver under the influence.
What If I Don’t Have Insurance, But Got Injured in a Hit and Run Car Accident?
If you do not have insurance, but became injured in a hit and run accident, contact a hit and run accident attorney right away. The other driver is still at fault, and there are resources available to help. An Atlanta hit and run accident lawyer with The Weinstein Firm is knowledgeable and will work to get you help.
Contact an Atlanta Hit and Run Accident Lawyer to Review Your Case
If you become involved in a car accident where the other driver fled the scene, you should consult a hit and run accident lawyer right away. The auto accident attorneys at The Weinstein Firm represent hit and run victims in Atlanta. By working with a hit and run accident lawyer, you can receive compensation from all available sources. Call a car accident attorney at our Atlanta firm today to see what your case might be worth. We will assign a hit and run accident lawyer to review your case and discuss how we can help.