What Happens When You Are Hurt in a Hit-and-Run Accident
Being injured in an accident is bad enough, but being injured in a hit-and-run crash increases the stress and uncertainty you feel. Aside from dealing with accident injuries, one of the first questions people have is who is going to pay for my damages. When the at-fault party leaves the scene of the auto accident, that is a real issue. This is where a personal injury lawyer can help. Our Myrtle Beach car accident lawyers have compiled the necessary legal info about hit-and-run accidents, their incidence, and what can be done to ensure that you are compensated.
Fleeing Driver Trend
Since 2006, there have been 682,000 drivers leaving the scene of an accident nationwide. This trend is also seen in South Carolina where 140,000 traffic collisions happen annually. There are a variety of reasons why this occurs:
- The driver does not have an active license and does not want to be caught.
- The motor vehicle operator does not have a valid registration, or the car is stolen.
- The motorist operating the vehicle is drunk.
- There are drugs in the vehicle, or the driver is under the influence.
- The driver may have warrants out for their arrest and is trying to evade the police.
- Sometimes, the driver panics and flees, returning occasionally when they calm down.
If the Driver Flees, How Do I Obtain Compensation?
Many hit-and-run drivers are apprehended through good investigative work. However, not every fleeing motorist gets caught. There are ways to collect damages such as the cost of medical care, lost wages, and others. Let’s take a look:
- Uninsured motorist coverage: A minimum uninsured motorist coverage of $25,000 per person, $50,000 for all other people, and $25,000 for property damage is mandated by South Carolina Law. You can also purchase underinsured motorist protection when you obtain coverage for your vehicle.
- Medpay: This covers your medical costs. It pays for medical expenses quickly up to the level of coverage.
We help our clients navigate through these options.
Hit-and-Run Drivers Are Frequently Caught
Not all fleeing drivers getaway. Many are apprehended with information found at the scene by law enforcement and attorneys. Here are some of the ways that this can be done:
- Obtaining details such as the make, model, and color of the vehicle can be of enormous help. License plate numbers are extremely helpful, and even a portion of the number can be used successfully.
- Photos of the crash are one of the best forms of evidence. Many investigations are successful due to footage off a traffic surveillance camera. Commercial and even residential outdoor cameras are also helpful. Our lawyers pursue this, and if the owner is unwilling to hand over the footage, we file a subpoena to obtain it.
- Witness statements are often used to locate a hit-and-run driver. In addition to information about the vehicle, bystanders might have seen the driver’s face.
What If the Driver Is Found?
In addition to the damages above, any deductible you may pay until the person is found is recoverable. In some cases, where egregious behavior by the fleeing driver occurs, punitive damages can also be recovered. Punitive damages are meant to punish the wrongdoer and diminish the chance the behavior will occur in the future.
Morris Law in Myrtle Beach
If you are injured by a hit-and-run driver in the Myrtle Beach area, call Morris Law for help. We have a good record of successfully resolving cases dealing with drivers who flee the scene. We can be reached at (843) 232-0944, or you can use our convenient online form. We will fight for your rights and work to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.