What do you do in a hit and run accident?
The at-fault driver took off. You were not able to get their tag number. You looked for witness, but could not find any. You have a damaged car and medical bills. Does that sound like the situation you are in?
As a personal injury lawyer, I know that hit and run accidents are the worst kind. Some stranger has changed your life and didn’t even stick around. Is there a way to get your car repaired, get a rental car while your car is being fixed, pay for your medical bills and provide pain and suffering?
So, let’s get back to the heart of the matter. The first thing you should do is call the police and make an accident report. If you are injured, go seek medical treatment. Even without health insurance, any emergency room is required under federal law, to give medical treatment if you were in an accident.
OK, now about insurance settlements?
This is where things can get tricky. The next thing to do after the accident report and emergency medical treatment is to contact an accident attorney immediately. Why? Because you are in a very precarious situation. Most likely the driver that took off will not be found unless there are witnesses with valuable information. This may be more likely the case in a small town. I represented a client in the small town of Jackson last year that was involved in a hit and run accident. Luckily, a general description of what the guy looked like and what his car looked like helped track down the hit and run driver. This was a true benefit of being in a small town. Everyone knows everyone and what they drive.
I was in a car accident in midtown Atlanta a few weeks ago. We were hit from the passenger’s side. I remember looking up and seeing a young girl ask me if we were alright. I looked to the passenger in our car, and we were fine. I, then asked her if she was alright. She looked confused and said that she was not in the accident. I looked at her car, and there was no damage. She said the other driver backed up and drove off down a one way street. We never saw her leave. There were witnesses, but none got her tag information. This raised an issue for my friend and his new car.
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Property Damage in a Hit and Run Accident: Gap Coverage
An experienced insurance attorney will go through your car insurance policy and detail each available policy provision to be utilized. It would benefit you well to have gap insurance in your car policy if you have a newer vehicle and owe money to a financing company or auto dealership.
Back to the issue at hand which is what to do when the other driver got away. I hope you are sitting down for this one. If you do not have uninsured motorist coverage, you will have no recovery at all. But, why? The other driver fled the scene so he and his insurance company are unknown. That means that you can’t sue who you don’t know. Therefore, we must look to your uninsured motorist coverage for settlements.
Therefore, ALWAYS have uninsured motorist coverage is great advice.
So, can you even settle a case with your own insurance company? Yes, you can. You paid for the car insurance for this exact reason if you bought uninsured motorist coverage.
But will it be more difficult? Yes, in my experience these cases are slightly more difficult. These types of cases are nearly impossible, in my earnest opinion, to try to handle them on your own. You will blow it and make it ten times more difficult for your Atlanta personal injury lawyer or Decatur accident lawyer or McDonough accident attorney or whoever you hire in whatever city you hire them in.
But, why? One reason is you probably have disclosed what you would settle for. That makes it harder for your lawyer to say we won’t settle for less the X when you already said you would take Y. Also, you probably signed some paperwork and releases that you didn’t even know where important. Now that skinned knee you got in the fourth grade is being thrown around as a preexisting injury. That analogy is a joke, but the point is sincere. You will open yourself up for a let down. Contact your Georgia Consumer Law Firm.
Let the McClelland Law Firm help you in this situation. Save your time and energy for getting your life back together and let us spend our time and energy on getting you the best settlement for you. YOU HAVE FOUND YOUR ATLANTA, GEORGIA HIT AND RUN ACCIDENT ATTORNEY AT 404-381-8584. We represent clients in personal injury and car accident cases in Atlanta, Marietta, Buckhead, Decatur, Stockbridge, McDonough, Griffin, Jackson, Forsyth, Monticello, and Macon as well as Fulton County, Dekalb County, Cobb County, Clayton County, Henry County, Lamar County, Spalding County, Butts County, Monroe County, and Bibb County. Call if you have been in a hit and run accident in Georgia.
Joseph P. McClelland, LLC · 583 E. Third St., Jackson, Georgia 30233 · (770) 775-0938