People who cause car accidents will often focus on saving themselves rather than worrying about the victims of their actions. Car accidents are dangerous enough, and the injuries and death that they may cause are worsened when the perpetrators of the accidents leave the victims without knowing who is responsible.
If you or a loved one are injured in a hit-and-run accident in Georgia, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Contact a Macon hit-and-run accident lawyer. “The Strong Arm” John Foy is an experienced and professional hit-and-run accident lawyer in Macon. He will ensure that you receive the help you need.
Causes of Hit-and-Run Accidents
Unfortunately, hit-and-run accidents are far more common than anyone would like. The AAA foundation for traffic safety found that in the last year data was collected, 11.7%, more than 1 out of 10, of all traffic accidents were hit-and-run accidents. This means that there were 731,100 hit-and-run accidents that year, injuring 138,500 people.
There are several factors that might cause a hit-and-run accident. Most of the time, hit-and-runs happen because the driver was already doing something illegal. For example, drunk driving was identified as a leading cause of hit-and-run accidents, because drunk drivers who cause accidents often flee the scene to avoid arrest.
Drivers will also often run from accidents if they strike a pedestrian because of fear of the legal repercussions. For the same reason, drivers who have financial troubles or no car insurance will also often flee due to the fear of having to pay.
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Compensation Available in Hit-and-Run Accidents
Hit-and-run accidents, like all car accidents, can cause very serious injuries or even death. Fatal injuries can take away a loved one. Non-fatal accidents can cause permanent disfigurement or disability.
The award for a victim of a hit-and-run accident can be hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars. However, the award to each individual victim will depend on the facts and merits of that person’s case.
Your Macon hit-and-run accident attorney will help you create a list of your injuries. The injuries from a car accident are categorized in two different ways: economic (or special) damages, which are damages at a set cost that are easy to calculate, and non-economic (or general) damages, which are damages that are more subjective and typically at the discretion of the jury.
Economic damages are those that are clearly set and easy to calculate. These damages include things such as hospital bills or the costs of physical therapy or home nursing care. These damages can also include the costs of medical devices such as a wheelchair.
These damages can also include things like loss of income if you become too disabled to work. In cases involving deaths, the victim’s family can recover the amount of money that the victim would have earned had they worked for the remainder of their expected life span. Other costs, such as the costs to hire someone to perform household tasks (such as cooking, cleaning, or home maintenance) that you normally would have performed, but are now too disabled, can also be included.
You can learn more about this form of compensation with a wrongful death lawyer in Macon, GA.
The more subjective non-economic damages are typically within the jury’s discretion. These damages can include things like pain and suffering or emotional distress damages. These are both values awarded by a jury in an amount that they feel is fair to make up for your injuries.
Non-economic damages can also include damages for loss of companionship for your family if you are disabled or die, or damages for the loss of enjoyment of your life. If the victim dies, their family might also recover damages for loss of consortium, which is meant to make up for the more subjective services that the victim might have provided their family prior to their death.
Punitive, or “exemplary” damages, are additional damages that are tacked on to an award meant to punish the defendant for gross negligence, willful misconduct, or such an extreme lack of care for the rights of others that would make the jury presume that the defendant did not care about the consequences of their actions.
The most common application of punitive damages in hit-and-run cases is when drunk driving was involved. In these situations, juries may award punitive damages, as long as certain guidelines are met, up to $250,000.00.
Insurance Coverage in Hit-and-Run Accidents
Unfortunately, sometimes the perpetrator of a hit-and-run accident is never caught. In this situation, your insurance will cover your damages if you carry an uninsured motorist (UM) policy. This will depend on whether your insurance plan includes UM coverage because Georgia does not require this coverage by law.
Sometimes, however, your insurance company will attempt to pay you less than what you deserve, or nothing at all. In these situations, your hit-and-run accident attorney in Macon can still help you by bringing an action against your insurance company.
The refusal by an insurance company to pay money that they should have paid is known as insurance bad faith. If you and your attorney bring one of these actions, you might be entitled to the full amount that you are entitled to, plus attorney’s fees, and additional damages of 50% of the amount your insurance company should have paid.
Contact a Macon Hit-and-Run Accident Lawyer at John Foy
If you or a loved one are a victim of a hit-and-run accident, contact “The Strong Arm” John Foy. Lawsuits arising from car accidents can be complicated and intimidating. Oftentimes insurance companies are involved and will hire expensive and skilled attorneys to limit your recovery as much as possible. You need an experienced and professional lawyer to help you navigate the litigation.
John Foy has almost 30 years of experience winning large settlements and verdicts for Georgians. He is very closely involved with the Georgia community and cares deeply about Georgians who are victimized by car accidents. John Foy & Associates work completely on contingency, which means that you pay nothing unless they get compensation for you.
Contact John Foy & Associates for a free consultation.