Accidents happen, and the system is set up to help everyone involved. But in hit-and run accidents, a driver leaves the scene leaving the injured driver or pedestrian helpless and alone.
In the state of Georgia, if you are in an accident, you are required to:
- Report an 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. This means calling an ambulance when necessary.
- If anyone is severely injured or dead, you are required to stay at the scene until emergency services arrive.
Many drivers who flee an accident do so that they won’t face other charges, such as DUI, driving without insurance or driving a stolen vehicle.
The number of hit-and-run accidents has been rising since 2009. The Insurance Information Center reports that 60 percent of all fatal hit-and-run victims were pedestrians.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a hit-and-run accident–whether you were driving, walking or bicycling–you will need an Atlanta Hit-and-Run Accident & Injury Lawyer.
What are the different types of hit-and-run cases that you handle?
At John Foy & Associates, we represent the victims in hit-and-run cases. The different types of accidents we see are:
- 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 are attributed to hit-and-run accidents, according to a of Transportation report.
In all cases, the driver flees the scene without exchanging information with the other driver or victims.
What should I do if I or a loved one was injured in a hit-and-run accident?
If you or a loved one has been injured in a hit-and-run accident, take down as much information as possible. Did you see the car? Write down the color, make, model and any license numbers you can make out. DO NOT FOLLOW THE CAR. “You may be furious that anyone would leave an accident scene,” says our firm founder, John Foy. “But following the driver is often dangerous.” Instead, call the police immediately and call an ambulance if anyone needs immediate medical attention.
If your car is parked and you didn’t see the driver, take photographs of the damage. That will be your proof that you are not making up the incident.
If the driver has fled the scene of the accident, and I can’t find them, can you still help me pursue a suit against them?
It’s important to contact a personal injury attorney even if you don’t have information on the driver. Our attorneys and investigators have more than 20 years experience with hit-and-run accidents and we’ll make sure you get the help you need to recover.
What are the civil consequences of a hit-and-run accident?
If the hit-and-run driver is found, we will pursue a personal injury suit against him. In general accident cases, the at-fault driver or his insurance company can be made liable for your necessary medical costs, wages from lost income due to the accident, and pain and suffering. However, because a hit-and-run can be a criminal offense, the driver can be sued for additional “punitive” damages—damages meant to punish the driver. Accidents are non-intentional, but choosing to leave the scene is a very deliberate and conscious decision. Juries tend to judge those actions quite harshly.
What are the criminal consequences of fleeing the accident scene?
In Georgia, fleeing the scene of an accident in which someone has been seriously injured or killed is a felony crime, punishable 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.
Who pays for the damages and injuries for a hit-and-run accident?
If the driver 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, says firm founder John Foy.
Collecting from your uninsured motorist policy (UM) should protect you. This is why it’s so important to contact a personal injury attorney who will protect only your interests and make sure you get the medical treatment you need to recover. Always check with your insurance agent to make sure you have uninsured motorist (UM) coverage.
If the driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol does that make a difference in my 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 suspect the other driver of being under the influence of anything, tell the police officer, “Officer, I can’t be sure, but the other driver seemed like he was under the influence.”
Georgia has severe penalties for both driving under the influence, and fleeing an 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.
If I don’t have insurance, but was injured in a hit & run accident, can you help me?
There are resources available if you do not have insurance and we cannot locate the other driver. Our firm has spent the last 20 years helping others who have been injured by someone else’s negligence and we can help you find help. Give John Foy & Associates a call at 404-400-4000 and our knowledgeable staff members will do all they can to get you help.
What type of compensation can I expect to receive for my hit-and-run accident?
As in all personal injury claims, we will 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 we locate the driver, we will also pursue punitive damages—damages that are intended to punish the driver and are in addition to your pain and suffering.
Is there a time limit for me 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 the time limit is significantly shorter. We urge anyone who’s been injured in a hit-and-run case to call a personal injury attorney as quickly as possible. The more time that passes after an accident, the harder it is to manage a case.
How can an Atlanta Hit & Run accident lawyer help me?
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 an Atlanta Hit & Run lawyer on your side.
Why should I call John Foy & Associates?
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.
Personal injury attorneys should not charge you anything up front; any fee is taken out of your settlement. Our firm is large enough to absorb the costs in that rare instance where there is no settlement. We take our time and don’t settle until we’re certain you are receiving a fair recovery.
Give us a call at 404-400-4000 and we’ll help you get started. Even if you don’t end up employing us, you’ll get an intelligent, professional legal opinion, with no charge to you.