If you were involved in a car accident in Rockdale County and the other party left the scene before you could obtain their contact and insurance information, you should consider calling a hit and run accident lawyer in Conyers, Georgia as soon as possible.
Although many people can panic after an accident and feel tempted to keep driving and never look back, most responsible drivers know the law and will return within minutes, as soon as they get a chance to process what happened or talk to a hit and run accident lawyer and acknowledge the risks they assume by leaving.
Those who do not return are often the ones who know they are at fault, do not carry insurance, are intoxicated with drugs or alcohol, or have some other reasons to fear an encounter with the law enforcement officers. Many of them end up regretting their actions but, by the time they do, it is already too late.
Unfortunately, at The Weinstein Firm, our hit and run accident attorneys have handled numerous cases involving drivers from the latter category. Identifying them and seeking compensation from them is not easy, but a dedicated hit and run accident lawyer always finds a way to help their clients.
If you get in touch with our Conyers hit and run accident attorney soon enough, they may be able to conduct their own investigation and identify the driver at fault using their license plate number, their car make and model, any video recordings and photos from the scene of the accident, or anyone present at the scene of the accident.
It would not be uncommon for our hit and run accident lawyers to discover other cases involving the same runaway driver or to be able to track down the driver or their car in traffic in Rockdale County. We have our tools and methods, and we gladly use them to help our clients whenever we have a chance.
Even if our Conyers hit and run accident lawyer does not succeed in locating the runaway driver, they can still help you find another solution for recovering your losses. One such solution could be filing a claim with your own insurance company if you have an uninsured or underinsured insurance policy.
The best way to understand how one of our hit and run accident lawyers can help you is to find out more about the Georgia laws applying to your case. Let us begin with the ones referring to drivers’ responsibilities and hit and run accidents.
Georgia Laws through the Eyes of a Hit and Run Accident Lawyer
As all hit and run accident attorneys know, drivers fleeing the scene of an accident violate Georgia Code Section § 40-6-270. According to it, all drivers involved in accidents that result in the injury or death of a person or damage to a vehicle attended or driven by a person have the following obligations:
- Stop immediately at the accident scene or as close to it as possible and return to the scene
- Provide their name, address, and vehicle registration number
- Show their operator’s license, if available, and the other parties involved request it
- Provide reasonable assistance to anyone injured in the accident by transporting them or arranging their transportation to a medical unit upon request
- Request emergency medical services if someone injured in the accident is unconscious, dead, or unable to communicate, and report the accident to the police
- Remain at the scene of the accident until complying with all the above obligations without unnecessarily obstructing traffic
As your hit and run accident lawyer may inform you, the same code section stipulates that drivers involved in fatal or serious injury accidents who fail to comply with the above obligations will be guilty of a felony and risk imprisonment for a period between one and five years. Drivers involved in mild injury and damage-only accidents will face charges of a misdemeanor and risk fines between $300 and $1,000, imprisonment for up to one year, or both.
Drivers convicted for the second time in five years face fines between $600 and $1,000, imprisonment for up to one year, or both. Drivers convicted for the third time or with more convictions on record will pay fines of $1,000, or spend one year in prison, or both.
Despite the rather harsh penalties, hit and run accidents frequently occur in Rockdale County, many of their victims turning to our personal injury lawyers for help. As your hit and run accident attorney may confirm, although many drivers flee the scene of the accident trying to escape liability, this gesture does not necessarily prove they were at fault.
For example, in many states, including Georgia, drivers are allowed to leave the scene of the accident in order to take someone injured to a hospital, as long as they return to the scene afterward and comply with their obligations. This is probably not the case of your driver since you would not need a hit and run accident lawyer if it were.
However, remember that even if the driver at fault for your accident fled the scene and never returned, in your compensation claim you will still have to prove how the accident took place, namely their negligence or reckless behavior. For that, and for many other reasons related to your accident claim, you could get in touch with a hit and run accident attorney as soon as possible.
What Can a Georgia Hit and Run Accident Lawyer Do for Me?
No matter how serious or mild your car accident was, recovering from it and fixing your car will take time and peace of mind. A hit and run accident attorney can help you through the legal process by answering all your questions, advising you every step of the way, and taking over the paperwork and legal proceedings.
Let us review just some of the ways in which Conyers hit and run accident attorneys can help their clients throughout the claim filing process.
Decide from Whom to Request Compensation
If you want to receive compensation for the damages and injuries you sustained, you will have to take legal action against someone. The best way to decide against whom to take action is to discuss your case with one of our car accident lawyers. Depending on the circumstances of your case, it may be best to file a claim against:
The driver at fault’s insurance company
If you or your hit and run accident lawyer manages to identify the driver at fault and they have insurance, the best course of action could be to file the accident claim with their insurer.
The driver at fault
If the driver who caused your accident is uninsured, you can file a lawsuit against them in civil court. Although our hit and run accident attorneys have managed court trials before, this should be your last resort. Uninsured drivers usually have limited financial resources and obtaining serious money from them will be close to impossible. Moreover, court trials last a lot of time and cost a lot of money.
Your own insurance company
If the driver at fault for your accident was uninsured, or you simply could not identify them, you and your hit and run accident lawyer may want to take a look at your own insurance coverage. Georgia laws require insurance companies to offer their clients uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. It is an insurance policy that steps in when you are hurt in an accident, and the party at fault does not carry insurance. Unless you gave up or rejected this policy in writing, chances are you have it, and one of our hit and run accident lawyers can help you use it.
Filing and winning an accident claim with an insurance company or a lawsuit against the driver at fault takes solid evidence and all hit and run accident attorneys know that. You will have to prove that the runaway driver caused the accident, that they fled the scene, and that you incurred all the damages, expenses, and losses for which you seek compensation.
You can gather some of the evidence yourself at the scene of the accident, like photos, videos, witness information, invoices, receipts, and medical reports. However, for more complex matters, like expert witnesses, future cost estimates, and quoting laws and case precedents, you will need the experience of a hit and run accident lawyer in Conyers, Georgia.
Accident claims are subject to Georgia Code Section § 9-3-33, the deadline for filing them being two years from the date of the accident. It may seem like a lot, but if you wait too long, finding the evidence you need and locating witnesses can be difficult, even for a skilled hit and run accident attorney.
Court trials involve hearings, citations, and motions that take time to file and require following strict rules. On your own, you may forget about them or find it difficult to prepare them on time. When you benefit from the advice and support of a hit and run accident lawyer, these are no longer your responsibilities.
File the Claim or the Lawsuit
All the evidence you have gathered has to be summarized in a written presentation that recounts the facts, lists the evidence, quotes relevant laws and regulations, and expresses your requests and motivations. Such presentations are better left to experienced hit and run accident attorneys.
You will need to cover hundreds of documents, yet keep it clear and simple. You will need to be convincing yet professional, pushy yet respectful. You will need to fill in endless forms and follow numerous rules.
This takes special skills, experience, and commitment to results, strengths that only the best hit and run accident attorneys have. You will find some of them at The Weinstein Firm, including at our office in Conyers.
Negotiate a Convenient Settlement
Either in response to your claim or during the court trial, the insurance company or the driver at fault will most likely make you an offer to drop all legal actions in exchange for a sum of money. As your hit and run accident lawyer may explain, it may not be possible to obtain the exact amount you requested as compensation. However, you should not accept derisory offers, either.
That is why you should analyze every offer you receive attentively, to see how much of your losses it covers, what other expenses you will incur if you appeal the claim or continue with the lawsuit, and how much more you could obtain.
The decision will be yours, but a hit and run accident lawyer can help you consider all the factors involved when you make it, and they can support it with solid arguments in front of the party offering the settlement to convince them to offer more. The assistance of a hit and run accident lawyer in Conyers, GA may cost some money, but you will get the benefit of more money, time, peace of mind, and useful advice and information.
Get in Touch with a Hit and Run Accident Attorney in Conyers, GA Today
There are many reasons why a Conyers, Georgia car accident victim may be hesitant about reaching out to hit and run accident attorneys. The main one being: money. While it is true that we do not work for free, we do believe in our clients’ right to test our services. As a result, we offer free case evaluations.
This means you can benefit from a consultation with a Conyers hit and run accident attorney without paying a cent. They will analyze your case, tell you what options you have, estimate how much money you could obtain, and answer any questions you may have.
If you decide to hire a The Weinstein Firm attorney to represent you and take over the paperwork and legal proceedings, they will work hard to get you the highest amount of compensation possible. If you are not happy with how the discussions went and you do not think they can help, you can walk away without any obligations.
And it gets even better! Our hit and run accident lawyers work on a contingency fee. This means you only pay for their services when the trial or the claim process ends and you receive the compensation. This way, you can work with a skilled, experienced, and dedicated hit and run accident attorney without worrying about paying upfront.
Now that you know what to expect from your case and you have a better idea of what we have to offer, what are you waiting for? Get in touch with our Conyers office and schedule that free case evaluation with a Conyers hit and run accident lawyer today.