Hit-and-run accidents have been rising since 2009. Highway safety statistics indicate that 60% of all fatal hit-and-run victims were pedestrians. Many drivers flee accident scenes because they fear facing other charges, such as DUI, driving without insurance, or driving a stolen vehicle.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a collision where the at-fault party fled the scene, you need a good Atlanta hit-and-run accident attorney by your side. Whether you were driving, walking, or bicycling, you deserve the right to fight for compensation.
What to Do Immediately After a Hit-and-Run Accident
In hit-and-run accidents, a driver flees the scene, leaving the injured driver or pedestrian helpless and alone. You might find yourself wondering what to do. According to Georgia Code § 40-6-270, if you are in a hit-and-run accident you are required to:
- Report the accident to local law enforcement if someone has been injured or killed, or there is property damage greater than $500.
- Provide your name, address, license plate number, driver’s license number, and insurance information to the other party or parties, and they should do the same.
- Provide assistance to any injured parties if you can, such as calling an ambulance.
- Stay at the scene until emergency services arrive if anyone is severely injured or dead.
to find a John Foy office near you
Different Types of Hit-and-Run Cases Atlanta Lawyers Represent
Many hit-and-run accident attorneys in Atlanta represent the victims in different types of situations such as:
- A driver hits a parked car and leaves without notice.
- A driver hits another vehicle, causing injuries and property damage.
- A driver hits a pedestrian or bicyclist, causing injuries and property damage. In fact, one in five pedestrian deaths is attributed to hit-and-run accidents, according to a NHTSA report.
In all cases, the driver flees the scene without exchanging information with the other driver or victims and with a lawyer’s help, they can be held liable for their negligence.
Atlanta Hit-and-Run Accident Lawyer Near Me 404-400-4000
Can You Pursue a Lawsuit Against a Hit-and-Run Driver You Cannot Find?
It’s important to contact a personal injury attorney even if you don’t have information on the driver. With years of experience, attorneys have partnerships with talented investigators who can find the driver of your accident. Your law firm’s goal is to make sure you get the help you need to recover from your injuries and should be doing whatever it takes.
Evidence to Collect From a Hit-and-Run Accident
The evidence you collect could mean more money in your pocket from a settlement. To aid your Atlanta hit-and-run legal team in their defense, it’s important to take down as much information as possible. This includes:
- The color, make, and model of the car
- Any license numbers you can make out
- Photographs of the damage and injuries if you didn’t see the driver
- Eyewitness reports and their contact information
- Surveillance footage
You should not follow the negligent individual’s car. Instead, alert the police immediately and call an ambulance if anyone needs immediate medical attention.
For a free legal consultation with a hit-and-run accidents lawyer serving Atlanta, call 404-400-4000
Atlanta Hit-and-Run Accident Lawyers Can Identify Liable Parties
It’s important to contact a personal injury attorney even if you don’t have information on the driver. With years of experience, Atlanta hit-and-run accident attorneys and investigators can make sure you get the help you need to recover from all liable parties.
Proving the Other Driver’s Negligence
In order to prove the other driver’s negligence after a hit-and-run accident and seek compensation, you and your lawyer will need to be able to show four elements:
- The other driver owed you a duty of care.
- The other driver breached that duty of care.
- You were hurt as a direct result of the other driver’s reckless actions.
- You suffered damages stemming directly from the accident.
What Is a Felony Hit-and-Run?
A felony hit-and-run is a serious criminal offense that is punishable with prison time, revoking of a driver’s license, and fines. In Georgia, a hit-and-run is considered a felony if another person has been seriously injured or killed because of the accident. Even if the hit-and-run driver was not at fault for causing the accident, he or she is at fault for leaving the scene.
Hit-and-Run Criminal Consequences
In Georgia, fleeing the scene of an accident in which someone has been seriously injured or killed is a felony crime, punishable by up to five years in prison. Fleeing a scene with minor accidents is a misdemeanor. Multiple convictions can result in prison time and the loss of a driver’s license.
Civil Consequences of a Hit-and-Run
Your hit-and-run accident attorney in Atlanta can pursue a personal injury suit against the hit-and-run driver. The at-fault driver or his insurance company can be made responsible for your medical costs, wages from lost income due to the accident, and pain and suffering.
The driver can be sued for additional punitive damages meant to punish them for their dangerous, deliberate, and conscious decision.
Insurance Companies and Hit-and-Run Accidents
When you are in a hit-and-run, often your own insurance company is the responsible party for paying your expenses. That puts you in an adversarial role with the very group that is meant to protect you. They have legions of highly paid attorneys whose only purpose is to protect the insurance company. Don’t go into this sort of ordeal without a lawyer on your side.
Getting Legal Help for a Hit-and-Run Accident if You’re Uninsured
There are resources available if you do not have insurance and your Atlanta hit-and-run accident lawyer cannot locate the other driver. Experienced personal injury law firms can offer their help to get you through this strenuous process, and advise you of your best course of action in a free consultation.
If the Driver Was Under the Influence, Does That Make a Difference in Your Case?
If someone is found guilty of hit-and-run and driving under the influence, the penalties are increased severely. In addition, the punitive claims in a jury trial will also greatly increase.
If you believe the other driver of being under the influence of anything, tell the police officer of your suspicions. Georgia has severe penalties for both driving under the influence and fleeing an accident.
Hit-and-Run Accident Compensation You Can Expect to Receive
As in all personal injury claims, your lawyer will help you seek payment for all necessary medical treatment, including pharmaceuticals and physical therapy; any money you might have made, but didn’t because you were unable to work; and pain and suffering.
If the driver of your accident is not found, you will have to collect damages from your own insurance company. In Georgia, like many states, you can use your uninsured motorist policy (UM) to recover for hit-and-run damages.
Whether you were walking, biking, or driving, a hit-and-run accident attorney in Atlanta will protect your interests and make sure you get the medical treatment you need to recover.
Time Limit to File a Hit-and-Run Case
The time limit or statute of limitations to file a hit-and-run case in Georgia is typically two years, but there are instances where this deadline is significantly shorter. It’s urged that anyone who has been injured in a hit-and-run case call an Atlanta personal injury attorney as soon as possible. The more time that passes after an accident, the harder it is to manage a case.
An Atlanta Hit-and-Run Accident Lawyer Can Help You Recover
After being in a hit-and-run, it’s important that you document your injuries and make note of the events leading up to it. A hit-and-run attorney in Atlanta will take it from there and:
- Collect evidence such as video footage
- Contact witnesses and collect their testimony
- Speak on your behalf to insurance companies
- Negotiate for a fair compensatory award
- Hire a medical expert or accident reconstructionist to testify negligence occurred
- Represent you in trial if necessary
Your focus should be on recovering from your injuries and trying to get back on your feet. By hiring representation, you’re relieving yourself of the pressure of legal work.
Costs Associated With Hiring Legal Representation
Personal injury attorneys should not charge you anything upfront. Many established law firms work on a contingency-fee basis meaning any fee you’re responsible to pay is taken out of your settlement. Large law firms are typically able to absorb the costs in that rare instance where there is no settlement.
You can expect your legal fees to be anywhere from 30% to 40% of your total settlement or court award. This number can fluctuate based on any additional services rendered, such as hiring an investigator or medical experts, or even going to court versus settling in mediation.
Our Hit-and-Run Lawyers in Atlanta Have Your Back
John Foy & Associates has been practicing one kind of law for more than 20 years, representing people who have been injured by someone else’s negligence. Nothing is more negligent than a driver who abandons an accident scene. These cases are very difficult to manage without our level of experience and legal knowledge.
Give us a call and our Atlanta hit-and-run accident lawyers can help you get started with a consultation. Even if you don’t end up employing us, you’ll get an intelligent, professional legal opinion, with no charge to you.