Car Accident Lawyer
It can be a very scary feeling when a driver who has parked their car comes back to the parking lot and finds that someone has hit their car and fled the scene. Many times, the at-fault driver flees the scene without leaving their contact information or even calling the police. This is known as a “hit and run” car accident. Some other types of hit and run accidents are where a driver hits a pedestrian or bicyclist and flees the scene of the accident. In every state in the U.S., all drivers who have caused a car accident have a legal obligation to stop and get help for any injured persons, call the police, and give their contact information to whoever they have hit. Hit and run accidents can be punishable as misdemeanors in some states. As a top-rated car accident lawyer explains, if a hit and run driver causes serious bodily or death, this can be punishable as a felony and the at-fault driver can face fines and prison time.
Insurance and Hit and Run Accidents
Collision coverage can be used to pay to repair the damage to someone’s car after a hit and run car accident. Collision coverage can also be used to pay to replace the car that was hit if it cannot be repaired. Uninsured motorist coverage can be used to pay for damages in a hit and run car accident if the at-fault driver cannot be located or doesn’t have insurance. Uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage will pay for medical bills and lost wages after a hit and run car accident. Uninsured motorist property damage coverage can also be used to pay for car repairs after a hit and run car accident. Medical payments coverage and personal injury protection(PIP) can both be used to pay for the medical bills of an injured driver and their passengers after a hit and run car accident.
Lawsuits and Hit and Run Accidents
If someone is killed in a hit and run car accident, their surviving family members can bring a wrongful death lawsuit against the at-fault driver to get damages for their losses. A wrongful death lawsuit can be brought by the closest family members of a person killed in a hit and run car accident or the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate. Wrongful death lawsuits are “civil” cases which are separate from the criminal charges an at-fault driver may face after a fatal hit and run accident. Wrongful death lawsuits are based on the principle that since the at-fault driver in a hit and run car accident acted carelessly or negligently and killed someone, they are liable to pay damages to the victim’s family. Damages in a wrongful death lawsuit are usually awarded to surviving family members to pay for the costs of medical bills, funeral expenses, and loss of future earnings of the deceased. The court can also award damages in a wrongful death lawsuit to pay surviving family members for loss of love and companionship, pain and suffering and emotional trauma after a fatal hit and run car accident. In some cases, the court may award “punitive damages” in a wrongful death lawsuit. These damages are meant to punish the at-fault driver for their bad conduct in causing the hit and run accident.
Thanks to Brad Lakin at Champions for the Injured for this information.