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Left in the Lurch: Helpful Legal Tips for Victims of Hit-and-Run Accidents

All car accidents are scary, frustrating, and emotionally taxing, but none more so than hit-and-run accidents. Many victims of a hit-and-run are unable to prove their claims due to a lack of evidence, and don’t know where to turn to receive the justice they deserve. Fortunately, there are a few things that a hit-and-run victim can try in order to find justice after the accident. The following are a few tips to aid those involved in a hit-and-run accident in hopes of minimizing the damaging effects of an accident of this nature.

Don’t Chase the Driver

While it can be tempting, chasing the perpetrator of your accident can result in further harm to yourself. Unfortunately, pursuing the driver often results in further violence and damage to vehicles, so it is best to involve the police rather than trying to handle the situation on your own. In many cases, chasing the perpetrator can lead to another accident as a result of reckless driving and speeding.

Contact the Police

Before anything else, it’s critical that you contact the police with any and all information you have regarding the vehicle that hit you. This includes the make and model of car, as well as the location and time of the accident. Even if you feel that you don’t have enough information to give to the police, filing an accident report can improve your case down the line. Many victims do not remember these details even an hour after the accident due to the stress and trauma of the event. This is why it is best to call the police with specific information while it is fresh in your mind, and while they still have a chance of pursuing the perpetrator.

Call Your Insurance Company

After leaving the scene of the accident, your next step should be contacting your insurance company, to see if you are covered in the event of a hit-and-run accident. If you have uninsured motorist coverage, this is very likely. Even if you aren’t normally covered in the event of a hit-and-run, a quick call to your insurance company can get you started on the process to filing a claim and obtaining compensation. If you were a pedestrian in a hit-and-run accident and have sustained injuries, you should contact your health insurance provider because you might be eligible for compensation for some medical costs in this situation.

Hire a Private Investigator

Researching hit-and-run drivers is one of the most common tasks for which private investigators are hired. Often, experienced private investigators will be familiar with repeated hit-and-run drivers in the area by vehicle, and can provide crucial evidence for your case. Once you leave the scene of the accident, it is not likely that the police will do much further investigation regarding the driver who hit you, so you must take this task into your own hands. Hiring one can save you the trouble of combing through vehicle registries, which can be critical if you are recovering from an injury due to the accident.

Obtain Private Legal Counsel

Depending on your coverage, your insurance company may or may not have hired an attorney to fight for your accident claim in court. If not, it is critical that you seek outside legal counsel: hit-and-run cases are some of the most difficult accident claims to prove, especially if the individual who perpetrated the crime denies their involvement. A good attorney, particularly one specializing in hit-and-run or general auto accident claims, can help you prove your case with the evidence you have gathered.

Hopefully you never have the serious misfortune of being a victim in a hit-and-run accident. Car accidents are terrible enough, even when both parties take responsibility afterwards. This type of situation is worsened when there are injuries involved, but if you want to receive what you deserve, you must act quickly and enlist the help of professionals. These cases don’t always end fairly, but if you don’t try, you’ll never see justice. Information for this article was provided by the professionals of Braithwaite Boyle Accident Injury Law who specialize in pedestrian injury cases in Alberta.

This article is from Ms. Dixie Somers, a freelance writer who loves writing for business, finance, women’s interests, and technology. Dixie lives in Arizona with her husband and three beautiful daughters.

Bob Kraft

I am a Dallas, Texas lawyer who has had the privilege of helping thousands of clients since 1971 in the areas of Personal Injury law and Social Security Disability.

About This Blog

The title of this blog reflects my attitude toward those government agencies and insurance companies that routinely mistreat injured or disabled people. As a Dallas, Texas lawyer, I've spent more than 45 years trying to help those poor folk, and I have been frustrated daily by the actions of the people on the other side of their claims. (Sorry if I offended you...)

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