A hit-and-run is when someone causes or contributes to an accident and leaves the scene. Even if the motorist returns to the scene later, the fact that they left right away is a crime. However, those who leave after hitting another person or vehicle typically do not return.
These types of collisions present unique difficulties for seeking compensation to cover a victim’s injuries. As such, if you were hit by a fleeing motorist, speak with an attorney who has experience handling hit-and-run accidents in Gainesville. A dedicated car accident lawyer at Smith Hulsey could advise you on recovering losses, regardless of whether the at-fault driver is found.
There are several common fact patterns for accidents involving unknown or unidentified drivers. Many of these incidents take place in parking lots where people can easily drive away after hitting someone. Hit-and-run collisions also frequently involve pedestrians or bicyclists injured in crosswalks or on the side of the road.
Often, a motorist will leave an accident scene because they fear being caught driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Alternatively, if a driver is in possession of stolen property or illegal substances when they collide with another vehicle, they may flee to avoid being caught by the police. Generally, any kind of crime may cause a driver to run from the scene.
Other reasons for fleeing could include:
In investigating hit-and-runs, time is of the essence. It is up to the responding police officer to act quickly in taking statements from those involved, finding witnesses, and putting out an ATV search for the fleeing vehicle, especially if they got a tag number or other details about the color, make, and model of the car.
These early steps often impact whether the individual can be found at all. If the driver is never located, it can be difficult to figure out insurance coverage or pursue civil action for damages. As such, victims of hit-and-runs should contact a skilled lawyer in their area to help determine a strategy for covering the costs of injuries and other losses. Depending on whether the police investigation is successful in identifying the driver, an injured victim may need to pursue restitution from the uninsured motorist policy of their own insurance company.
Compared to other types of traffic crashes, hit-and-runs are unique due to the criminal element of fleeing from an accident scene. However, these incidents also present challenges in recovering compensation for damages, especially if the at-fault driver is never located.
No one deserves to suffer for someone else’s negligence and criminal behavior. If you were hit by an unidentified driver, consult a dedicated attorney on pursuing financial relief during the ongoing police investigation. One of our skilled lawyers could walk you through all available legal options and handle your case while you focus on recovering. Call today to discuss hit-and-run accidents in Gainesville with the hardworking team at Smith Hulsey.
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