When you are involved in an Atlanta hit-and-run accident, recovering compensatory damages can be hard. You will need the help of an expert Atlanta car accident lawyer to explore your options. This is because unlike most accidents, the at-fault driver in a hit-and-run accident is not known. So you don’t have a party to hold accountable.
However, all is not lost if your crash-related damages are caused by a hit-and-run driver. Here is a look at various aspects of hit-and-run crashes, and your options to seek compensation in the wake of such a crash.
What is a Hit-and-Run Accident?
A hit-and-run crash is when at least one of the drivers involved leaves the scene of the accident before sufficiently sharing relevant information. Such information may include insurance details, identification, and contact info. It is important for a driver to share these details with others involved in an accident so that other motorists can later file a claim for damages.
A hit-and-run driver may not stop at the crash scene and speed away. Alternatively, the driver may step down from the vehicle, render some aid, and then go away without sharing the details noted above. Both instances qualify as a hit-and-run.
What to Do After an Atlanta Hit-and-Run?
If you have been the victim of a hit-and-run accident in Atlanta, GA, it is advised that you follow the steps below.
Contact the Police
If you are physically able and conscious, it is important to report the Atlanta hit-and-run accident as soon as possible. This gives the local law enforcement authorities a chance to nab the responsible driver. Even if that is not the case, reporting the crash brings it on record. You can later use the police report for the accident in filing any claim for damages in connection with the crash.
Note Down Relevant Details
If you remember any details about the vehicle or the driver responsible for the hit-and-run, make sure you note it down and narrate it to the authorities once they arrive on the scene.
Get Medical Help
When the paramedics arrive after the accident is reported, you will receive preliminary medical aid. It is vital that you undergo a more thorough checkup soon afterwards.
Your Options for Compensatory Damages
After an Atlanta hit-and-run accident, you have a number of options through which you can explore the possibility of compensatory damages. These include the following.
File a Claim With At-Fault Driver’s Insurer
A hit-and-run is a criminal offense in Georgia. This means that the police will do their best to nab the at-fault driver. If the responsible person is identified and apprehended, you have the option of filing a damages claim with that person’s insurer. However, this is only possible when the other person carries a sufficient amount of insurance.
File a Claim With Your Own Insurer
This is typically possible when your auto insurance policy also includes uninsured motorist coverage, also known as UM. Uninsured motorist coverage is meant to protect in case you are hit and suffer losses due to an uninsured driver. However, this coverage also applies to hit-and-run drivers.
Georgia law requires all auto insurers to offer UM/UIM coverage as a part of all auto insurance policies. However, you can opt out of this coverage. So this coverage is a part of your auto insurance policy if you didn’t opt out of it in writing.
If you do have uninsured motorist coverage, your losses caused by the hit-and-run driver may be fully covered. The actual amount of damages you can seek in lieu of UM coverage will also depend on the type of UM coverage you have.
File a Lawsuit
If the person responsible for a hit-and-run is apprehended but doesn’t have enough coverage, you also have the option of filing a lawsuit. This way, a court can help you liquidate the culprit’s assets to recover damages. This is a viable option only when the at-fault driver has assets of sufficient value.
Get an Experienced Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer Today
If you have been involved in an Atlanta hit-and-run, it is important to get sound legal help at the earliest. As noted above, you have several options in the wake of a crash. A good lawyer will help you explore these options. Here at Ted Greve & Associates, we aim to help hit-and-run victims recover maximum amount of compensation. Even when you are filing for UM coverage with your own insurer, you will need strong legal representation to ensure that your rights are secure. Contact us today to discuss your claim with our lawyers.