An auto accident can be a very nerve-wracking experience. You are dealing with a terrible injury, but at the same time, you have to figure out how to pay your bills and keep food on the table. Things can become more difficult when you are hurt by a vehicle and then flee the scene.
When your accident is caused by someone else, you have the right to demand damages. You are entitled to financial compensation for your injuries. However, you may also face the additional problem of locating the driver who fled the scene of the accident.
After being injured in a hit and run accident, it is in your best interest to work with a Hattiesburg hit and run attorney from Rollins Law Firm to help guarantee that you receive enough compensation for your injuries. And will not be an easy journey, but we can make it work for you. Contact us now to discover how we can assist you!
Why do I need a Hit and Run Accident Lawyer in Mississippi?
If you have been injured in a hit-and-run accident in the state of Mississippi, the personal injury lawyers at Rollins Law Firm are prepared to assist you in filing a claim for compensation for your injuries as well as your financial and personal losses.
The following are some of how our hit and run attorneys at Rollins Law Firm may help your case go ahead toward the financial recovery you deserve:
- Investigating the hit and run accident to collect forensic, video/photographic, or eyewitness evidence that may identify the person responsible for your hit-and-run accident
- Finding the driver who caused your hit and run accident
- Collaborating with specialists to generate accident reconstruction reports to identify the driver that caused your accident and demonstrate how they did so
- Making claims with the insurance companies includes making claims with your own insurance policy for uninsured driver coverage
- Actively pursuing aggressive negotiations with the insurance companies to obtain complete and equitable recompense for your losses.
- Filing a lawsuit and bringing your case to court when parties cannot reach a settlement agreement
After being injured in a hit-and-run accident, you may feel stressed and confused about how to proceed with your case. But you don’t have to worry. Our car accident lawyer can do all the work while you focus on your recovery. Reach out immediately and set up a free consultation! We’ll be waiting for your call!
What is Hit and Run?
A hit and run accident occurs when one or more motorists collide, and at least one flees the scene of the accident. While hit-and-run accidents can be inconvenient at best and deadly at worst, the penalties for fleeing the scene of an accident vary by state. As a result, if you were involved in a hit-and-run accident, you should consider hiring a Hattiesburg hit and run accident lawyer to assist you in determining the best legal strategy for your specific situation.
As a general rule, leaving the scene of an accident is never a good idea. In most states, whether or not you are the at-fault driver in the accident, leaving the location of the accident constitutes a hit and run. Exceptions to this rule include leaving the scene of an accident in a rural area to call emergency services, being involved in a minor fender-bender in a parking lot, and leaving your contact information for the other driver.
Because you may or may not be dealing with another party and their insurance company, hit and run accidents can be more complicated than other types of motor vehicle accidents. If you cannot identify the other driver, you may have to fight your own insurance company.
You may feel overwhelmed to be in this situation. And you may be confused about the next step to take. The best course of action is arming yourself with a personal injury lawyer you require to get a fair shot at the settlement you deserve.
Why Do Drivers Run Away from the Scene of an Accident?
Although there are no justifiable reasons for drivers leaving the car wreck scene, understanding why someone does so can help you get some answers and closure. A hit-and-run crime can occur for a variety of reasons, including
- Intoxication: A driver’s ability to think critically is impaired when they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. They are tempted to flee the scene to avoid arrest.
- Fear and confusion: The shock and anxiety that comes with realizing one has caused an accident may cause a driver to flee the scene in confusion.
- Legal issues: If the person has previously committed a crime, they may decide to flee the accident scene to avoid being apprehended.
- Misunderstanding: Before the police arrive, two drivers in a car accident may speak to each other. If only one driver provides contact information, the other driver may face hit-and-run charges for violating the law.
Types of Hit-and-Run Accidents
There are three different categories of hit-and-run accidents that you can be involved with.
- A hit and run accident with only property damage: No one was hurt in this scenario. You could have been in the car at the time of the accident. This is the most common type of hit-and-run accident, occurring in parking lots and minor traffic collisions.
- A hit and run accident resulting in property damage and injuries: In this case, it wasn’t just your car that was damaged. The accident injured you, your passenger, or a pedestrian, whether mildly or severely.
- A fatal hit and run accident. This is the most severe kind of hit-and-run accident. If the hit-and-run driver is identified and apprehended by police, they will almost certainly face serious prison time.
You have the right to compensation as an accident victim in all three types of accidents. Reach out to an experienced hit and run accident lawyer in Hattiesburg to guide you in pursuing your compensation claim.
Elements of a Hit and Run
There are two basic things that must occur in order to satisfy the elements of a hit and run charge. You must first be involved in a car accident. Second, you must leave the scene without stopping to identify yourself or assist anyone who may require assistance. Another vehicle, a pedestrian, a fixed object, a motorcycle, a truck, or even a cyclist may be involved in the collision.
Also, to be charged with hit and run, you do not have to “hit” someone or something. Often, simply being involved in an accident and fleeing the scene is sufficient.
Who is at Fault in a Hit and Run?
When it comes to insurance claims, Mississippi uses the fault system. This simply means that if you want to receive compensation for any property damage, physical injuries, emotional pain, or financial loss caused by a hit and run, you must be able to demonstrate that the other driver was at fault.
As a result, regardless of whether you were present or not, you must do everything possible to document the accident by collecting as much evidence as possible from the scene and speaking with witnesses as soon as possible after the occurrence. This information can later be used to identify and track the fleeing driver or to persuade an insurance adjuster or a court of law that the other driver is at fault.
A credible personal injury lawyer in Mississippi can assist you in collecting evidence to prove and establish liability in your accident.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage for Hit-and-Run Crashes
When an at-fault driver collides with your vehicle, they usually held liable for compensating you for your injuries and damages, with the compensation paid by the driver’s insurance company. However, if the at-fault driver flees the scene of your accident, you may be unsure which insurance company to contact for compensation for your losses.
However, if you or a family member in your household has auto accident insurance, you may be able to seek compensation through the policy’s uninsured motorist coverage.
Although uninsured motorist coverage is typically used in accidents where the other driver does not have insurance, a driver who commits a hit and run is treated as having no insurance coverage. If they are unable to be identified, their insurance status is unknown. An accident victim who has been injured can file a claim under their own uninsured motorist coverage.
But don’t expect the insurance company to pay out your uninsured motorist claim in whole just because they are “your” insurer. Even in these cases, the insurance company’s goal is to pay as little as possible to maximize profits. To ensure you get the maximum compensation claim possible, contact an aggressive and skillful Hattiesburg hit and run attorney to handle your case and pursue your best interest.
How to Prove a Hit and Run Accident?
In a hit-and-run accident, identifying the fleeing driver can be difficult. Photographs of the accident scene and vehicle damage reports may provide crucial forensic evidence that will help police identify a hit-and-run driver. A fleeing vehicle may also be determined by a nearby dashcam or surveillance video footage. Finally, witnesses to the accident may be able to identify the fleeing vehicle or provide a license plate number, allowing police to track down the driver.
Compensation Claims in a Hit and Run Accidents
If you were involved in a hit and run accident, seek legal advice from a competent hit and run attorney in Hattiesburg, as you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and damages, including
- Past and future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity or potential
- Pain and suffering
- Lost enjoyment or quality of life
- Loss of consortium
- Wrongful death
Punitive damages may be available in extreme cases, such as if you were hit by a drunk driver who fled the scene because they had previous DUI convictions. These are not intended to compensate you for your losses but rather to punish the at-fault driver for their actions and prevent others from engaging in similar behavior.
Hit and Run Accident Statute of Limitations in Mississippi
According to Mississippi state law, you have three years from the accident date to file a lawsuit against the driver who hit you for compensation for your losses. If you do not immediately know the identity of the hit-and-run driver, the court may choose to extend, or “toll,” the statute of limitations.
What to Do After a Hit and Run Accident in Mississippi
If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a hit and run accident, you should take the following steps to protect your rights and interests and put yourself in the best position to recover maximum compensation for your injuries and losses:
- Call 911, particularly if you have been injured, or contact the police department directly to report a hit-and-run accident.
- Take down as much information as possible about the vehicle that hit you. Include the make, model, color, plate number, and any other distinguishing features of the vehicle. Give this information to the police so they can start looking for the driver.
- Take photos or videos of the accident scene, including the vehicle that hit you as it fled the scene, damage to your vehicle, any visible injuries you sustained, traffic controls at the scene, and the road, traffic, weather, and lighting conditions at the time of the accident.
- Obtain the names and contact information of any accident witnesses. They may be able to identify the driver who hit you and provide testimony about how the accident happened.
- Check for nearby surveillance cameras that may have captured the accident and attempt to obtain copies of the footage.
- See a doctor for an examination to determine and treat all of your injuries.
- Speak with a seasoned Hattiesburg personal injury attorney so that your case can be investigated.
Call our Competent Hit and Run Attorney in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, Now!
At every level, hit and run accidents are upsetting. Not only did the other driver disregard your safety by causing the accident, but they then fled, leaving you injured in your vehicle or on the street. After you recover from the shock, you may face the infuriating reality – you cannot sue the driver’s insurance company unless you have the license number, and you’re stuck footing the bill for their carelessness.
Leave the worry about finding the driver to the Hattiesburg police department. And allow Rollins Law Firm to assist you in obtaining compensation for your car accident injury. Getting compensation after a hit and run is a difficult battle, but we are prepared to fight for you.
Rollins Law Firm will not permit you to suffer the same fate a second time. Speak to us now!