Durham Hit-and-Run Accident
A hit-and-run accident occurs when a vehicle impacts another vehicle, and the driver of the at-fault vehicle flees the scene of the accident. In addition to creating civil liability, a hit-and-run accident creates criminal liability for the individual who caused it.
Hit-and-run accidents often occur at night, and often involved impairment on the part of the at-fault driver, because many individuals would rather flee the scene of the accident than be apprehended for drinking and driving.
If you have been the victim of a Durham hit-and-run accident that has left you injured, the first thing you should do is ensure stabilization of your medical situation. Once you know that your health and safety are secure and stabilized, you should contact an experienced Durham car accident lawyer so that you can understand what your options are for being able to recover damages for your accident.
Differences Between Hit-and-Run and Traditional Car Accident Cases
The type of insurance that applies in hit-and-run accidents can differ from the types that would otherwise be involved in car accident claims. The driver who suffered as the victim of the hit-and-run has to look at their own uninsured motorist coverage, or uninsured motorist policies. The insurance companies will not pay the claim unless there is some type of physical impact to the vehicle. If a hit-and-run takes place, and the situation caused somebody to get run off the road, but the vehicle shows no sign of physical impact, the driver may not be able to recover under their uninsured motorist claim, because the body of the car does not show any effects of the incident.
In hit-and-run cases, information varies depending on the type of police work that is done when the investigation is performed. Sometimes the police are able to find the individual who caused the hit-and-run and sometimes, they are not. In these cases, many things depend on which insurance policy pays, as well as on how much they pay.
Criminal Liability of a Hit-and-Run
Depending on whether or not the individual is apprehended, their criminal charges can positively impact the claimant’s case. If the individual is found, their liability and display of complete disregard for not only the law, but the safety of other people, can be used as negotiation leverage that brings the claimant closer to being able to pay more for certain parts of the damages, because they were caused by a criminal act.
Benefit of Retaining an Attorney after a Durham Hit-and-Run Accident
An experienced car accident lawyer can help in hit-and-run accident claims by identifying the type of insurance coverage that may apply in the situations, because they are different from typical car accident claims. An attorney may also be able to liaise with the involved law enforcement officials in discovering more information about the possible investigation. If the investigation starts to progress, a lawyer is able to assist in the investigation as it goes on, and serves as a great asset when it comes to recovering insurance damages from the insurance company.
The types of damages that are recoverable after a Durham hit-and-run accident are damages for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. There may also be a chance of recovering punitive damages, depending on whether the individual that caused the accident is apprehended and whether their insurance policy is officially at play.
The recoverable damages in a hit-and-run case are no different from any other case, however the source of recovery could be different in that the source of recovery could come from an individual’s own insurance policy under what is called uninsured motorist coverage.