I Was Involved in a Hit and Run. Do I Still Have a Case?
According to the most recent statistics from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, there were more than 730,000 hit-and-run crashes in the United States in 2015. Being hurt in a hit-and-run crash – where the negligent party leaves without providing any identification or assistance – can be difficult and overwhelming. Fortunately, Georgia personal injury laws are designed to protect accident victims and help them seek compensation for their injuries.
Attorney Walter Gabriel is ready to represent and support clients in their hit-and-run accident claims. As a reliable Georgia personal injury attorney, Walter can investigate every aspect of your unique situation, explore your available legal options to pursue damages, and help you recover fair financial compensation. The firm proudly serves clients across Atlanta and the rest of Georgia, including Alexandria and Dunwoody.
Georgia Is a Fault Insurance State
Georgia is an "at-fault" state for car accidents. Under the state’s at-fault auto insurance laws, the driver who caused the car crash (the at-fault party) will be held financially and civilly liable for medical expenses, property damages, and other accident-related losses suffered by the accident victims.
Requirements When an Accident Occurs in Georgia
According to Georgia laws, when an accident occurs, the driver must immediately notify the police by calling 911 to report the incident if:
The accident causes bodily injury or death of a person
The accident causes property damage of $500 or more
The accident happened in a city that requires filing a crash report
Your insurance provider requires you to report the accident
In addition, the driver is required to stop their vehicle at the accident scene and provide injured victims with reasonable assistance and other relevant information. Failure to comply with these requirements is punishable under the law. An experienced Georgia car accident attorney can help file your crash report and determine the best way to proceed with your insurance claim.
Your Options for Filing a Claim After a Hit and Run
In order to seek financial compensation for injuries and damages suffered in the auto accident, you can proceed by:
Filing a claim with your own insurer
Filing a third-party claim against the insurance provider of the at-fault party
Filing a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party in civil court
A lawyer can enlighten you about the next steps to take after the accident, help file your injury claims, and determine what to do if the at-fault party is uninsured or underinsured.
Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Provision
It is typically never advisable to file an injury claim against an uninsured or underinsured driver. Thankfully, Georgia Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) policy protects policyholders and accident victims who are injured in traffic crashes involving an underinsured, uninsured, or hit-and-run driver.
This can serve as a substitute to cover your medical expenses, vehicle repairs, and other accident-related losses when you’re unable to identify the at-fault party or they do not have the required liability coverage. Hence, when involved in a hit-and-run accident, you can file a claim against your own uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage.
Steps to Take if You Were in a Hit and Run
Being involved in a hit-and-run accident in Georgia can be difficult and unsettling. Keep in mind that what you do after the incident can affect your chances of recovering damages. If you were hurt in a hit-and-run crash, you should take the following steps where possible:
Remain calm and get to safety. Do not pursue the driver fleeing the accident scene.
Capture relevant details about the vehicle, such as the car’s manufacturer, color, model, license plate number, and other unique identifying marks.
Take note of specific details about the driver, such as the driver's gender, eyeglasses, appearance, facial hair, estimated age, outfit, and other crash details.
Call 911 to get immediate medical treatment for your injuries.
Search for any witnesses who saw the accident and get their contact information.
Gather available evidence at the accident scene, such as pictures and video footage, and from security cameras at nearby businesses if possible.
Document pictures of your injuries and your personal account of the accident.
Report the accident to the nearest law enforcement office or local police department.
Inform your insurance company about the hit-and-run accident.
Hire a skilled personal injury attorney to help file your claim and negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance provider.
It is important that you take all these steps immediately to preserve evidence and avoid forgetting vital details. A seasoned attorney can walk you through the necessary steps, help protect your rights, and pursue the financial compensation you deserve.
Protecting Your Rights Every Step of the Way
Getting injured in a hit-and-run accident can be an emotional experience and can impact you physically, mentally, and financially. You don’t need to go through it alone. Attorney Walter Gabriel has devoted his career to advocating for the best interests of hit-and-run accident victims and their families. Walter can guide you through the complex procedures involved in filing hit-and-run claims and seeking damages. Attorney Walter Gabriel will fight compassionately for your legal rights and help you pursue financial justice.
When you’re ready to get started, contact The Law Firm of Walter Gabriel, LLC in Atlanta to schedule a simple case evaluation with an auto accident lawyer. The firm proudly serves clients across Atlanta, Alexandria, Dunwoody, and the rest of Georgia.