A hit-and-run is considered a serious offense in the state of Georgia. However, for various reasons, the driver may fail to report the accident and leave the scene. Depending on the severity of the accident, a driver who flees the scene of an accident may be charged with a misdemeanor or felony.
If you have been the victim of a hit-and-run accident, you might be confused wondering what options are available for you. Fortunately, our experienced McDonough hit and run accident lawyers at The Weinstein Firm can help you get the justice and compensation that you deserve. We will work closely with the police to identify and find the responsible driver or also help you pursue other viable legal options. Contact our capable auto accident lawyers at 770-HELP-NOW to schedule your free initial consultation.
Why Would A Driver Leave the Scene After an Accident?
A hit-and-run happens when a driver hits another vehicle (occupied or unoccupied), cyclist, or pedestrian or causes damage to property and flees the scene of the accident or doesn’t correctly identify themselves to the affected person or the law enforcement. Under Georgia law, any driver involved in a car accident resulting in injury, death, or property damage exceeding $500 should stop at the scene of the accident, and provide their names, address, vehicle registration number, insurance information, and also render required assistance to the other party.
There are several reasons why a driver may choose to leave the scene of an accident:
- The driver doesn’t have the required auto insurance.
- The driver has an outstanding warrant for their arrest and is afraid of getting arrested.
- The driver currently has a suspended license and should not be driving.
- The driver does not have a valid license.
- The driver is an alien and doesn’t have the necessary legal documentation.
- The driver was drunk at the time of the accident or under the influence of drugs.
If you have been involved in an accident and the at-fault driver flees the scene of the accident, this can make recovering damages quite complicated for you. This is why it is important to seek the assistance of an experienced hit-and-run lawyer at The Weinstein Firm as soon as possible.
What Should You Do If a Driver Leaves After a Car Accident?
There are some important steps that y should take after being injured in a hit and run accident to protect your rights:
Call the police: One of the most important steps after being involved in any kind of accident is to report the accident to law enforcement. Not only will the police help to track the responsible driver, but an official police report will help to prove your claim later on.
Document the Scene: One of the best ways to help your case is to record as much information about the accident as possible. Note down everything you remember about the driver and the vehicle. Any information you might have can greatly help the police in identifying the responsible driver. Also, take photos and videos of the scene including any visible injuries you might have sustained and also property damage.
Speak to witnesses: If there are any witnesses at the scene who saw the accident unfold, talk to them and collect their names and contact details. Witness statements can prove to be very helpful in a hit-and-run case.
Seek medical attention: Regardless of how you feel after the accident, it is highly important that you seek immediate medical attention. This is because some injuries can take time to manifest. Seeking medical attention not only helps to protect your health but also documents your injuries.
Contact a McDonough hit and run accident lawyer: Dealing with a hit and run case can be very complicated, especially the other driver can’t be located. This can make getting compensation for your injuries and losses. However, your attorney will explore all available options and help you get the maximum compensation you deserve.
What Damages Can Victims Get From A Hit and Run Accident Claim in Georgia?
Victims of hit and run accidents are entitled to recovering various types of damages in the state of Georgia.
Economic Damages: These types of damages are designed to compensate victims for verifiable monetary losses suffered due to the accident. This can include past and future medical bills, property damage, lost income, loss of earning capacity, travel costs, etc.
Non-Economic Damages: These types of damages are meant to compensate victims for non-monetary losses caused by the accident such as pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of companionship, loss of consortium, etc.
Punitive Damages: These types of damages aren’t always awarded in hit and run accident cases. Under Georgia law, punitive damages can be awarded in cases where the defendant’s actions were grossly negligent, intentional, or malicious. Punitive damages are awarded to punish the defendant for their wrongful actions and discourage similar behavior in the future.
Georgia law has put a cap on punitive damages at $275,000 and 75% of these damages should go to the state treasury.
How Long do I Have to File a Claim for a Hit and Run Accident in Georgia?
In Georgia, the statute of limitations for hit and run cases gives victims two years from the date of the accident to file a claim against the liable parties.
Why do I Need a Lawyer?
Hiring a lawyer can make all the difference in your hit-and-run case. Your attorney will investigate the accident and also take steps to help identify the responsible motorist. The attorney will review the available evidence including witness statements, surveillance footage, police reports, and any other important piece of evidence. Your attorney will also help to determine and prove the value of your claim by assessing your medical records and bills, expenses, and losses.
If the at-fault driver can’t be located, you will need to file a claim with your own insurance company through your uninsured motorist coverage. While this may be the case, dealing with insurers even your own can be very frustrating as insurance companies are known to use various tactics to minimize the amount that they have to pay including exaggerating your level of fault and also pressuring you to accept lowball offers. However, your attorney will handle negotiations with the insurance company on your behalf and ensure that the insurance company doesn’t take advantage of you.
If a favorable settlement agreement can’t be reached upon during the negotiations stage, your attorney will take your case to trial. Here, your attorney will fight for your rights before a judge and jury. When you have an experienced attorney on your side, the courts will take your case more seriously and you stand a better outcome.
Contact an Experienced McDonough Hit And Run Accident Lawyer
If you have been the victim of a hit-and-run accident, you might be feeling confused and hopeless. Understandably, if the responsible driver flees, you might be worried about who will pay for your damages. However, all is not lost, at The Weinstein Firm, we have extensive experience dealing with hit and run cases. We can help you get full compensation from all available sources. Get in touch with our leading Georgia accident law firm today at 770-HELP-NOW for effective legal representation.