Atlanta Hit-and-Run Car Accident Attorneys
Have you suffered considerable losses in a hit-and-run accident and don't know who to turn to? Are you feeling helpless and abandoned? Do not give up hope. Reach out to the compassionate Atlanta car accident lawyers at the Grant Law Office today. We can help you either find the driver responsible for the crash or explore alternative options for compensation. With our assistance, you can get back on your feet in no time at all.
Our legal team consists of attorneys who have spent decades practicing personal injury law in Georgia. There is no substitute for our experience. If you want quality legal guidance from a firm with a proven track record of success, contact our office and speak with a member of our team. We offer free, comprehensive case reviews at (404) 995-3955.
Under Georgia law, fleeing the scene of an accident, even if you did not cause the accident yourself, is a criminal act. Drivers are legally required to provide aid, which includes exchanging information, to those involved in the accident with them. According to O.C.G.A. 40-6-270, a motorist that causes property damage or bodily harm to another person must:
- Stop or immediately return to the scene and provide identification and registration information;
- Render aid and arrange transportation if it seems necessary or the victim requests it;
- Contact emergency medical services and police if the victim is deceased, unconscious or unable to communicate.
Any motorist who violates this law will receive a serious fine, as well as a jail or prison sentence, depending on the amount of damage that was caused during the accident. If fleeing the scene of a crash is illegal, why would a driver risk arrest by doing so? Usually, it is because they have already committed some other crime.
The at-fault driver may have a blood alcohol content (BAC) over .08%, making him legally drunk, meaning that he would be guilty of a DUI. On the other hand, the at-fault driver may already have several traffic violations, and one more accident could result in a license revocation. In more extreme cases, the car that the at-fault driver was using may have been stolen, and staying at the scene of the accident would have resulted in immediate arrest for theft.
More often than not, however, at-fault drivers flee because they do not have auto insurance. Georgia, like most states, requires that drivers have a minimum amount of car insurance in case they cause an accident. Drivers must have at least:
- $25,000 of Bodily Injury Liability per person
- $50,000 of Bodily Injury Liability per accident
- $25,000 of Property Damage Liability per accident
Drivers who do not have insurance are breaking the law. While the consequences of being uninsured are far less than the consequences of hitting and running, many uninsured drivers will decide to risk it and flee the scene of the accident, hoping they won’t get caught. Sadly, that means the victims are the ones left facing the consequences.
A driver who causes a serious crash is far more likely to flee than a driver who accidentally bumps into someone else’s car. The more serious the accident, the more it will cost the at-fault driver and their insurance provider, if they even have insurance. That means hit-and-run victims are often left with catastrophic injuries, such as:
- Broken bones
- Road rash
- Deep lacerations
- Organ damage and internal bleeding
- Spinal cord injuries
- Eye injuries
- Brain damage
- Severe burns
- Traumatic amputation
The more severely injured the victim, the more serious the hit-and-run crime. A felony hit-and-run, which is when a driver flees an accident that caused serious or deadly injuries, can result in a prison sentence of one to five years. Sadly, this does not stop negligent drivers from running away from the accidents that they have caused. This can leave victims injured, with no way to file a claim against the at-fault party. Thankfully, the police may be able to help.
If you have found yourself the victim of a hit-and-run, then the very first step you should take is contacting the police. The police will want to investigate the crime and try to identify the driver so that they can bring him to justice. This can also prove beneficial to you. If you want to file a claim against the at-fault driver, then you need to know who he or she is. You can help the police accomplish this by providing them with certain information, such as:
- The make and model of the car
- Defining features of the car, such as dents or decals
- Where and when the accident took place
- A description of the driver
- A full or partial license plate number
If you are able to do so, you should write down every you remember about the accident the moment you can. Small details such as what model the car was can be forgotten quickly, especially if you are in a state of shock from the collision. By writing the details down, you are ensuring that you will not forget an important piece of information. This will help you identify the liable motorist.
The police can help you track down the at-fault driver, but officers have other crimes to investigate and other duties to complete, especially in a large city like Atlanta. This means your case may fall by the wayside. However, there are other experts you can turn to in your time of need.
After you have contacted the police, you should reach out to a personal injury attorney for help. In a hit-and-run accident case, the first thing an attorney should do for you is conduct an investigation of the circumstances of the crash to see if there are any clues as to the identity of the liable driver. Vital evidence may include street surveillance footage, witness accounts, and even paint chips left over from the at-fault driver’s car.
Even with an investigation, however, it is possible that the at-fault driver will never be found. If the driver is found, the investigation could take weeks, months, or even years to be completed. If you are suffering from serious injuries, then waiting that long to get the money you need is out of the question. Thankfully, there are other avenues for compensation.
Although you are not required by law to carry uninsured motorist/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage, it is wise to do so. Not only does UM/UIM coverage provide accident victims with financial assistance when the at-fault driver is unable to do so, it also applies to hit and run cases. Considering the benefits, adding UM/UIM coverage to your automotive policy is absolutely worth it.
As you do not know the identity of the driver, you are unable to file a claim against him. This essentially means that the at-fault driver is uninsured. Thus, a hit-and-run qualifies under your UM coverage policy. You will be able to recover compensation for all the same damages that you would if you could file a claim against the at-fault driver.
Keep in mind that even when you're filing a claim with your own insurance company, you should still consult with your attorney. Insurance adjusters do not discriminate when it comes down to preserving their bottom line, even when you are their client. Remember, insurance companies operate to make a profit, not to do the right thing. While they may legally owe you compensation, they will do everything they can to deny your claim. Even if they do accept the claim, they will try to minimize their payout to you, so it's best if you have a legal professional by your side that prioritizes your best interests.
At the Grant Law Office, we do not tolerate the injustice perpetrated by hit and run drivers. We will do everything possible to find the party that wronged you. If this isn't possible, then we will skillfully negotiate with your insurance company to get you full and fair compensation for your damages. To speak with one of our excellent Atlanta personal injury attorneys, contact our office by calling (404) 995-3955 today.
Contact us today for a free and comprehensive case evaluation.
We require no legal retainer or upfront fees,
and you pay nothing unless we prevail.
Phone: (404) 995-3955
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