No matter the reason for a driver leaving the scene, the failure to remain at the crash site could have lasting consequences for everyone else involved. Tracking down the responsible driver can be difficult, impacting an injured motorist’s ability to pursue a compensation claim.
If you sustained injuries in an accident with a driver that left the scene, you are not out of luck. A thorough investigation could turn up their identity. What’s more, the team at Bader Scott Injury Lawyers could advise you on your insurance options—even if you never identify the responsible driver.
Why Drivers Leave the Scene
There are countless reasons why a driver might leave the scene after an accident. While understanding their reasoning might not matter to you, it could provide a jury an understanding of how your accident happened.
Some of the factors that go into drivers leaving the scene of an accident include:
- Driving under the influence. Drivers who know they are under the influence of alcohol or drugs are more likely to leave the crash scene. This is largely due to their fear of being arrested.
- Outstanding warrants or criminal activity. Driving under the influence is not the only potential legal issue that could cause a person to leave the accident scene. Drivers with warrants out for their arrest might not stick around for the police to show up. The same is true for drivers leaving the scene of a crime or otherwise involved in criminal activity.
- Lack of insurance coverage. While liability insurance is mandatory for Georgia drivers, many motorists operate their vehicles without coverage. When drivers know their coverage has lapsed, they might leave the scene of an accident to avoid facing civil liability for any damage they caused.
- Unaware of the accident. Some drivers fail to notice that an accident occurred at all. While this is rare in severe accidents, it is not unusual for a driver in a less serious crash to leave the scene thinking there was no damage involved.
- Lack of a license. A motorist must have a valid license in order to drive legally in Georgia. A driver who knows they could face trouble driving without a license might decide to leave the scene.
For a free legal consultation with a hit-and-run accidents lawyer serving Dunwoody, call (404) 888-8888
What to Do Following a Hit-and-Run Accident
If you are involved in a hit-and-run accident, your steps immediately following the crash could impact your health, safety, and potential personal injury claim. Consider taking the following steps after an accident with a driver that leaves the scene.
- Try to identify the other driver. Note information about the other driver as you can. This includes a description of the motorist and their vehicle. Most importantly, try to obtain their license plate number.
- Do not follow the driver. While it might be tempting, never attempt to chase the other driver. This could result in another accident or lead to a confrontation.
- Contact the police. Contact the police as soon as the accident occurs. By giving them an accurate description of the other vehicle, they might track down the responsible driver.
- Seek medical care. If you feel injured, talk to a doctor right away. This is the case even for seemingly minor injuries, as they can worsen over time.
- Speak with an attorney. Let a Dunwoody hit-and-run accident lawyer protect your legal rights. Call (404) 888-8888 to speak with a team member from Bader Scott Injury Lawyers today.
Dunwoody Hit-and-Run Accident Lawyer Near Me (404) 888-8888
Insurance Coverage when the At-Fault Driver Is Unidentified
Dealing with an accident claim can be complicated under the best circumstances. From negotiating a settlement with the insurance company to arranging for vehicle repairs, this process is fraught with frustration. The challenges that come with an accident are often compounded following a hit-and-run accident.
One of the primary issues is the lack of liability insurance for an injured party to rely on. Typically, the insurance carrier of the at-fault driver would provide coverage for your injuries and property damages. If you cannot identify that person, there is no way to file a claim on their policy.
About Uninsured or Underinsured Coverage
Other insurance options could kick in under these circumstances. Drivers that have comprehensive coverage could seek benefits under their own auto policy following a hit-and-run accident. There could also be coverage available through an uninsured motorist claim. These policies benefit an injured driver when the responsible party lacks insurance or cannot be identified.
As helpful as this coverage can be, it is worth noting that uninsured motorist policies are not automatically included with most liability policies. State law requires insurance carriers to offer these policies, but drivers may decline this type of coverage due to the higher premiums. If you did not opt in to this type of coverage, you would not be able to pursue a claim under an uninsured motorist policy.
You Could Seek a Monetary Award Following a Hit-and-Run Accident
If you are involved in a hit-and-run accident, you could be entitled to seek compensation for your injuries. While the process of chasing these damages can be challenging when the responsible driver leaves the scene, your attorney could help you every step of the way.
A Dunwoody hit-and-run accident lawyer from Bader Scott Injury Lawyers could assist you with identifying the driver that hit you or advocate for you in negotiations with your own insurance company. To learn more about your options, call (404) 888-8888.