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Hit and Runs: The Road to Recovery

By Grant Law Office on September 28, 2020

new car damaged by hit and run

There is nothing more gut-wrenching than watching the person who just collided with your car speed away without even bothering to check if you were injured. That kind of carelessness and cruelty can have a severe impact on your life, especially if you are already in a difficult financial situation. Many of us live paycheck to paycheck, and when we are involved in an accident, we rely on the insurance provider of the at-fault driver to pay for our medical bills, time away from work, and damage done to our vehicle. So, what do you do when said at-fault driver flees the accident?

Recovering With Your Insurance Policy

After being the victim of a hit-and-run, you may assume that you don’t have any immediate options for recovering compensation. Depending on your auto insurance, however, that may not be true. If you signed up for an uninsured motorist (UM) policy, then you can turn to your own insurance provider for compensation.

A UM policy allows you to recover damages, even if the at-fault driver does not have insurance or fled the scene of the accident before you could get their information. Under Georgia insurance laws, UM policies are not legally required, however, they are still widely available through most insurance providers. If you are unsure if whether or not you have a UM policy, you should check with your insurance provider immediately. You may have signed up for one without knowing. It is important to note that if your insurance provider denies your claim with them despite the fact that you have a UM policy in place, they are acting in bad faith, which is illegal. You should not be afraid of holding them accountable for their bad faith actions.

Working With the Police

If you do not have a UM policy, that doesn’t mean all hope is lost for your compensation recovery. Fleeing the scene of an accident is illegal in Georgia. In fact, a hit-and-run is considered a misdemeanor offense that could result in up to a year in jail for the perpetrator. That misdemeanor can quickly become a felony if anyone was severely injured or killed in the accident. This means that the police will be invested in finding the person responsible. That can be difficult, and there is no guarantee they will succeed, but you can help them by providing certain information, such as:

  • The make and model of the car
  • A license plate number, even if it’s just a partial
  • The color of the car
  • The time and area that the accident took place in
  • Any characteristics of the driver you were able to see

You should also avoid having your car fixed or scrapped if it was totaled until the police or your attorney can take a look at it. There are may be clues to the identity of the driver, such as paint scrapes left on your vehicle. If you can, you should also take photos of the scene of the accident. Tire marks can also provide vital clues on the identity of the at-fault driver. Waiting for a police investigation to conclude, however, can take time. And you may need help as soon as possible.

Seeking Help from an Attorney

Speaking with an attorney may be your best bet in getting the compensation you need. Even if you know you have a UM policy in place, your insurance provider may still be reluctant to pay you the amount you are owed, as that cuts into their profits. A skilled attorney can push them to give you the compensation you deserve.

On the other hand, if you don’t have a UM policy, then you should still consult with an attorney in order to get a firm that understands all of your options. There may be other avenues of compensation that you can tap into. Either way, an expert Atlanta auto accident attorney may be exactly what you need to pave the way for your financial recovery. For top-notch help, call the Grant Law Office at (404) 995-3955.

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Grant Law Office Disclaimer: The legal information offered herein by Grant Law Office, is not formal legal advice, nor is it the formation of an attorney client relationship. In order for our firm to be considered your attorney there must be a signed agreement between the client and the firm. Any results set forth herein are based solely upon the circumstances of that particular case and offer no promise or guarantee on the outcome of any other case. Please contact a lawyer for a consultation.

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*Wayne Grant has been practicing law since 1979. Grant Law Office was founded in 2000.