After being involved in a hit-and-run accident, you may have serious concerns about how you will get your costs covered. After all, you do not know the identity of the driver that hit you. Fortunately, between the local police department and your Atlanta hit-and-run accident lawyer, we will more than likely be able to figure out who hit you as we complete our thorough investigation into the cause of your crash.
Once we know the identity of the driver who fled the scene, we can take legal action against them. They may even face criminal charges. However, you may wonder how long hit-and-run investigations take as you struggle to cope with the financial implications of your collision. Your Atlanta car accident lawyer at John Foy & Associates is here to get you the answers you need when you need them most.
Factors Impacting the Length of Your Hit and Run Investigation
Hit-and-run investigations will often take longer than traditional car accident investigations. There are specific factors that can determine how long it may take to work through your hit-and-run investigation. The most notable include:
- How long it takes to identify the driver that hit you
- The availability of evidence
- Whether you are accused of shared liability
- The extent of your damages
- Whether the fleeing driver has auto insurance
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How Long It Takes to Identify the Driver
It may take some time to identify the driver that fled the scene. Once we determine who is responsible for hitting you, we can move forward with the claims process in greater detail. Our car accident attorneys will need to work with the local police department and analyze the evidence we have obtained at the accident scene to see if we can figure out the identity of the driver that hit you.
In some cases, it is easy to identify this driver. For example, if the collision happened at an intersection with traffic cams, we may be able to determine the identity of the driver that hit you if the camera captured the driver’s license plate. However, by the same token, if the driver had stolen the vehicle in question, identifying them could prove more challenging.
The Availability of Evidence
The burden of proof in personal injury and car accident claims is based on a preponderance of the evidence. This is legal jargon that essentially means the evidence presented at trial must convince the judge and jury that the accused party is more than likely at fault for your injuries and damages.
With that in mind, it may take longer to investigate your hit-and-run accident if there is limited evidence or if accessing evidence is more difficult than previously expected. For instance, if law enforcement officials have obtained certain types of evidence, they may need to retain possession of these pieces of evidence while they conduct their investigation.
If they cannot or are unwilling to allow your hit-and-run accident lawyer access to this evidence, we may need to wait until the criminal investigation is resolved before we can move forward with our hit-and-run investigation for your civil claim.
Whether You Are Accused of Shared Liability
If you are accused of sharing liability for the accident, this could also impact how long the investigation takes. Not only will we need to collect as much evidence as possible against the driver who fled the scene, but we will also need to gather evidence that can prove you are not to blame for causing the accident or your resulting injuries.
Since Georgia follows modified comparative negligence laws, even if you are found to share liability for the accident, you may not be prohibited from recovering compensation for your damages as long as your portion of blame is not greater than the 50% bar threshold. Unfortunately, since your settlement will be reduced proportionately, it is crucial to ensure fault is accurately evaluated.
The Extent of Your Damages
The more impactful your damages are, the longer it may take to conduct our investigation. To accurately calculate the value of your claim, we must consider the extent to which your injuries and damages are likely to affect your life, not only now but in the future.
If you are dealing with debilitating or disabling injuries, we will need to carefully consider the emotional impact, physical limitations, and future medical expenses associated with your injuries so we can ensure you are seeking fair compensation for your losses.
Whether the Fleeing Driver Has Auto Insurance
It is also important to consider the possibility that the driver that hit you has auto insurance coverage. In many cases, drivers flee the scene because they do not have auto insurance in place. Driving without insurance could be considered a misdemeanor criminal offense in the state of O.C.G.A. §40-6-10.
If convicted, the driver could face fines of up to $1,000 and as much as one year in jail. However, they may also flee the scene because they have a warrant out for their arrest or simply panic.
If the driver does have auto insurance coverage, once they are identified, you may be able to file a claim with their insurance provider. However, if they do not have insurance coverage, your legal options may be limited to filing a claim against your no-fault insurance policy or a civil lawsuit against the hit-and-run driver.
Call in the Strong Arm, and Connect with a Hit and Run Accident Lawyer Today
Although several factors could impact the length of your hit-and-run accident investigation, with our firm working on your case, you can gain insight into which factors are relevant to your claim and what to expect as we go through each stage of the investigation.
When you are ready to hold the driver that hit you accountable for their recklessness, Call in The Strong Arm. Get in touch with an experienced Atlanta hit-and-run accident lawyer at John Foy & Associates and schedule a 100% free consultation today. You can reach us by phone or our quick contact form to schedule yours.