What to Do After Hit-and-Run Accidents

June 11, 2024
Savage, Royall & Sheheen

When the other driver fails to stop at the scene of the accident, it upends the usual legal process in your case. Ordinarily, you would file a claim against the other driver’s car insurance.

When the driver has not stopped, you do not know their insurance details or even their identity.

Given the complexities of hit-and-run accidents, you should always hire an attorney to represent your interests and fight for your legal rights. Call the experienced lawyers at Savage, Royall & Sheheen, LLP to learn more about how you could qualify for financial compensation.

Why Drivers May Flee the Scene of an Accident

Hit-and-run accidents are a crime under South Carolina law. Depending on the circumstances, drivers may even face a potential jail term if they are caught, charged, and convicted. Still, some drivers may not stop at the scene of an accident for reasons including:

  • They do not have car insurance
  • They were under the influence of alcohol at the time of the accident
  • The driver panicked and fled
  • The motorist had a warrant for their arrest and was afraid of the police
  • Their license was suspended, or their car was not registered

Regardless of the reason why the driver failed to stop, your problems are still the same. Hit-and-run accidents add an extra layer of complexity to a car accident claim.

What to do After Hit and Run Accidents

The police report is the most essential thing that you can have after a hit-and-run accident. You need proof that you were the victim of a hit-and-run accident. You should call law enforcement right after the accident, so they can come to the crash scene. The police would then note that the other driver involved in the crash did not stop at the scene. You can use this report to file a claim against your underinsured motorist’s coverage. If you did not call an officer at the scene, you should do so immediately, although it may be more difficult to prove a hit-and-run the longer you wait to get an accident report.

Then, you would need to make sure that you get the medical help you need to fully recover from your accident injuries. You cannot file a car accident claim until you know you are diagnosed and the extent of the recovery that you may make. Finally, you should contact an experienced car accident lawyer who can help you navigate the legal system while fighting for you to receive every dollar you deserve in compensation. You are uniformly worse off when you try to deal with insurance companies on your own.

What if the Driver Is Never Found?

Police may try to track down the driver involved in the accident because a hit-and-run is a crime.

Your attorney could also perform a complete investigation and attempt to locate the driver.

If you are never able to find the driver, which is a distinct possibility, you still have legal options to obtain financial compensation. You would file a claim against your car insurance policy.

South Carolina law requires car insurance to offer you underinsured and uninsured motorist coverage. Sometimes, you may not be fully compensated by another driver’s insurance, especially when you cannot locate that driver in the first place.

Do not expect your own insurance company to be any more reasonable than that of another driver. Insurance companies operate in the same way, meaning that they do everything they can to avoid paying you to the fullest extent possible. You would still need an attorney to deal with your own insurance company because you have to negotiate a settlement with them.

A Hit and Run Car Accident Lawyer Can Help

It always helps to have a second insurance policy against which to file a claim. Ideally, the other driver would eventually be tracked down, and you could file a claim against their policy. In the meantime, your lawyer can perform a complete investigation and make all attempts to track down the responsible driver.

Then, a car accident attorney can do the following in your case

  • Gather and present evidence that shows the other driver was to blame (you still need to prove negligence in a hit-and-run accident)
  • Estimate the value of your damages for your claim
  • Negotiate with your own insurance company (which you still must do)
  • Litigate your case in court if necessary

Contact a Camden Hit-and-Run Accident Lawyer Today

If you have been injured in a hit-and-run accident, you need legal help immediately. There may be steps in the process that you may not be aware of, and a lawyer could guide you through them. Contact the experienced car accident lawyers at Savage, Royall & Sheheen, LLP to learn how we can help you. It only takes a minute to contact a lawyer, and the information that you learn and the assistance you receive can be invaluable. To schedule a free initial consultation, you can send us a message online, or you can call us today at 803-432-4391. You pay nothing until you win.

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