When you sustain injuries in a hit-and-run accident, you might not know how to recover compensation or who to turn to. Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C. has an experienced legal team that can help you determine your best legal option for securing the money you need to cover your medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and more.
When you’re injured in a car accident, it’s devasting, but when the at-fault driver leaves you behind, it’s shocking and infuriating. Our Carrollton car accident lawyers will work to locate the missing driver and help you fight for justice. Even if the driver isn’t found, we have the experience to help you reach a positive outcome.
Our attorneys have been recognized for their exceptional legal representation by Super Lawyers, the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum, the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, and more. We also hold an AV Preeminent rating from Martindale-Hubbell and a 10.0 rating from Avvo. Our greatest pride is the praise we’ve received from clients and the trust they place in us.
When you’re facing a financial burden after a car crash, the last thing you want to do is handle a legal case. You can count on us to determine the value of your case and pursue the maximum monetary award available. Call Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C. at (770) 205-0933 today.
What You Should Do If the At-Fault Driver Flees the Scene
It’s illegal to leave the scene of a motor vehicle crash if there are injuries or fatalities. However, there are times when you might encounter someone who decides to flee after causing an accident. If you sustain injuries, you might not know what to do next or how to find the other driver. It’s crucial that you remain calm and complete each step below to ensure you can recover financial compensation.
Step 1: Call 911 to report the accident and wait for an officer to arrive. They will perform an investigation and attempt to find the at-fault motorist.
Step 2: Talk to bystanders who saw the crash happen. They can provide details you might not have noticed, such as the make and model of the other car or the direction the driver went after the collision.
Step 3: Collect evidence at the scene. If there’s a broken taillight or other debris, take photos of it and make sure the investigation officer is aware of it.
Step 4: Seek medical treatment. The doctor will evaluate your injuries and determine if you should follow up with anyone. Continue attending all appointments until your healthcare professionals release you from their care.
Step 5: Bring your car to a repair shop for a damage estimate or contact your auto insurance company to perform one.
Step 6: Hire a Carrollton hit-and-run accident attorney to spearhead your case.
Car Insurance Laws in Georgia
Georgia has a fault system in place, which means that the person responsible for the accident is financially responsible for the injured party’s injury and property damage. Unfortunately, when the at-fault driver flees the scene, you can’t hold them liable for the harm they caused.
You might have other options for recovering a monetary award for your damages. Damages are the losses associated with an accident or injury. They include economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages refer to actual expenses, while non-economic damages are intangible losses.
Although not a legal requirement, there’s a form of coverage you might have purchased for your auto insurance policy. Uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM) is optional insurance available in situations where the liable motorist doesn’t have liability insurance, their coverage isn’t high enough, or they leave the accident scene.
When you file a UM claim, you can seek the following damages:
- Medical bills
- Out of pocket expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Property damage
- Lost earning capacity
Depending on the coverage on your policy, you might be able to get reimbursement for your total damages. However, there’s something called the modified comparative negligence rule that could prohibit you from collecting a full settlement check. If the insurance company discovers that you’re partially to blame for the accident, the available compensation will decrease by the percentage of fault you share.
For example, if you incurred $100,000 in damages but were 20% liable, you could only pursue up to an $80,000 settlement. If you’re 50% or more at fault for the crash, you wouldn’t be entitled to any amount of compensation.
Pursuing Compensation From the At-Fault Driver
If law enforcement can find the person who caused your car accident, you can file a claim with their liability insurance company. Every driver has a legal responsibility to purchase liability insurance with minimum bodily injury and property damage limits. They can compensate the accident victim for their economic and non-economic damages.
Depending on the limits on their policy, you might be able to cover the following damages:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages and earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Out of pocket costs
- Property damage
- Loss of consortium
When you file your liability claim, the insurance adjuster will use contributing factors to come up with a fair settlement amount. Since non-economic damages don’t have a monetary value, the insurance adjuster will review some of the following elements of your case to determine adequate compensation:
- Type and severity of the injury
- Total medical costs resulting from the accident
- Duration of the recovery period
- Impact of the injury on daily life
- Insurance coverage available
- Evidence provided to the insurance company
- Physical or mental disability suffered from the crash
- Whether returning to work is a possibility
You can also file a lawsuit against the driver and their insurance company if you receive a denied claim or low settlement offer. You must comply with a statute of limitations if you choose this legal option. It’s a strict deadline, and if it passes, you’ll lose your right to financial compensation. The statute of limitations in Georgia is two years. That means you have two years from the accident date to file suit.
Negligence is the legal basis for most hit-and-run cases. It refers to one party’s failure to provide another with a reasonable degree of care to prevent them from harm. When the other driver caused your injuries and decided to flee the scene, they displayed negligence.
There are four elements you must prove existed if you want to use negligence as the basis for your lawsuit:
- Duty: The at-fault driver owed you a reasonable duty of care to prevent you from getting hurt;
- Breach of duty: They breached their duty:
- Causation: Their actions were the direct cause of your injury; and
- Injury: You sustained injuries that resulted in damages.
Besides seeking compensation for your economic and non-economic damages, you could also pursue punitive damages when filing a lawsuit. Instead of compensating you for your losses, it punishes the other person for their actions and aims to deter similar misconduct in the future. For a jury to provide this financial award, you must prove with clear and convincing evidence that the at-fault driver acted with willful conduct, oppression, wantonness, malice, fraud, or indifference towards consequences.
Do I Need a Carrollton Hit-and-Run Accident Lawyer to Help Me With My Case?
No. You can attempt to handle your case alone; however, it will be a challenge. Hit-and-run cases are complex, and if you don’t have an experienced attorney by your side, you could end up with lower compensation than you deserve. When you’re unfamiliar with the legal process and don’t know your rights, you might make a mistake that gets your insurance claim denied or lawsuit dismissed.
At Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C., we have a team of dedicated Carrollton hit-and-run accident attorneys who will take care of each step to ensure everything is accurate and timely. We can launch a complete investigation into the car crash and determine who was at fault. We will also obtain crucial evidence that proves you sustained injuries and deserve a financial award for your suffering.
Some of the evidence we’ll need to locate includes:
- Traffic crash report
- Medical records and bills
- Photos from the accident scene
- Surveillance footage of the crash
- Statements from eyewitnesses
We won’t let the insurance company use their intimidation tactics on us. We’ll file a claim and aggressively negotiate a fair settlement that covers your total damages. If we have to file a lawsuit, we have the resources to fight in court and convince a jury that you deserve compensation.
Injured in a Hit-and-Run? Call Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C. Today
Our Carrollton hit-and-run accident lawyers will advocate for your rights. We’ll stand up to the insurance company and ensure they pay what they owe you. Our legal team has extensive resources to track down the driver who caused your injuries and hold them liable for their actions. You won’t be alone during this traumatic experience. We’ll stay by your side to provide the support and guidance you need.
We’ve been helping accident victims in Georgia for over 30 years. We believe in taking on others for their negligent conduct. When you hire us, we will focus on your individual needs and prepare a strategy that reaches your legal goals. You can depend on us to give you the one-on-one attention you rightfully deserve while we’re working on your case.
If you were the victim of a hit-and-run car accident, call (770) 205-0933 to schedule a free consultation with one of our Carrollton hit-and-run accident attorneys.