Do I Need a Lawyer After a Hit and Run Accident?
Have you recently been involved in a hit and run car accident in Atlanta, Georgia? Was your car damaged or destroyed? Are you struggling with physical and emotional injuries? Are you worried about how to cover the costs of your accident and make ends meet?
Contact Hasner Law for immediate legal advice and assistance. Our car accident attorneys can help you identify your legal options for financial recovery and then fight to get the money you deserve.
Our Fulton County law firm offers a free consultation, so don’t hesitate to reach out to us online or by phone today to learn more.
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Why It’s Important to Call a Personal Injury Lawyer After a Hit and Run Accident in Atlanta
An unexpected car accident can be quite traumatic. It can cause severe physical injuries and impose burdensome financial costs. Even when an at-fault driver stays at the scene, getting compensation can be challenging. Needless to say, things can get even more complicated when a negligent driver flees the scene of a crash.
Fortunately, you don’t necessarily need the at-fault driver to recover a financial settlement or award. There are options for recovery out there – you just need to know where to look. In order to put yourself in the best position to maximize that recovery, it helps to enlist the assistance of an experienced Atlanta personal injury lawyer.
- Your attorney can carefully review the circumstances of your hit and run car accident. In doing so, they can figure out why it happened, what caused it, and who – other than the hit and run driver – might be responsible.
- You could potentially be entitled to benefits from your own insurance provider. However, insurance companies will not make the claims process easy for you. Your attorney can make sure that your claim is crafted carefully and backed with the evidence that will be necessary to leverage a fair settlement.
- The hit and run driver isn’t off the hook just because they flee the scene. While you might be able to toll the statute of limitations and hold them accountable in the future, you need money now. Your lawyer can cooperate with law enforcement and bring in private investigators to speed the search for the at-fault driver. The sooner they’re located, the sooner you can bring them to court.
- Things might get complicated if the hit and run driver, after being located, is charged with a crime. Your attorney can handle any curveballs that are thrown your way.
At Hasner Law, our personal injury lawyers in Atlanta have more than 80 combined years of experience. We’ve successfully recovered millions of dollars in jury verdicts and private settlements for injury victims just like you. We know how stressful a hit and run car accident can be. That’s why we want to be there to help you in any way that we can. Let us put our reputation, experience, and record of success to work to benefit you. We’ll take care of your injury case – you just focus on getting better.
Understanding Your Responsibilities After a Car Accident in Atlanta
It’s important to understand what your legal responsibilities are if you are involved in a motor vehicle accident in the state of Georgia. Duties imposed by state law can impact injury claims that stem from a crash. Here’s what you need to know.
You Have to Stay at the Scene
Georgia state law explains that a driver who is involved in an accident “resulting in injury to or the death of another person or in damage to a vehicle which is driven or attended by a person” has to remain at the scene of that collision. In other words, if you’re involved in an accident that causes property damage, injury, or death, you have to stay put. If you can’t stop where the accident took place, you must stop at a safe spot that’s as close as possible.
You Have to Render Aid & Exchange Information
Once you’ve stopped, you have a responsibility to help injury victims seek medical attention. This might involve transporting them to a local hospital yourself if those injuries are time-sensitive or catastrophic. If injuries aren’t severe, calling 911 will suffice. While you wait for EMTs and/or the police, you’re required to give other drivers your name, address, and car’s registration number.
You Have to Report the Accident
If no one was unconscious, seriously injured, or killed, you might not have a duty to call the police to report the accident. However, that doesn’t mean that the accident doesn’t have to be reported, at all. In Georgia, an accident must be reported if it causes:
- More than $500 in damage to property
- Injury, or
The best rule of thumb is to call the police and report the accident right away, regardless of the damage caused.
Anyone who fails to fulfill these requirements can be charged with a crime and/or face significant civil penalties. If the at-fault driver in your collision fled the scene, you can potentially use the fact that they violated the law to your benefit when pursuing compensation down the line.
Determining Causation, Fault, and Liability For Your Atlanta Hit and Run Car Accident
When you get hurt because another driver is negligent, they can be held financially responsible for your damages and injuries. What happens when the negligent driver flees the scene?
Fortunately, there might be other sources of compensation. Under Georgia state law, you can potentially file a claim against and recover damages from anyone who contributes to your hit and run accident.
After any car accident in Atlanta, an in-depth and thorough investigation is crucial. That’s particularly true following a hit and run accident when you really need to be able to identify all liable parties.
At Hasner Law, our team will carefully review the details and circumstances surrounding your auto accident. In doing so, we’ll identify all potential sources of compensation. Once we do, we can work to recover monetary benefits and awards on your behalf from each and every one, including:
Your Insurance Provider
You could be entitled to benefits under your own car insurance policy if you have Uninsured Motorist Coverage or Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UIM/UM). Insurance companies are legally required to offer this add-on coverage, which can help to pay for the costs of an accident that are caused by an uninsured, underinsured, or hit and run driver.
Government entities in Georgia – including those operated by the state, county, and city – aren’t usually liable for accident-related injuries. However, that’s a different story when the government’s negligence is a contributing factor. For instance, let’s say your accident was caused, in part, by dangerous road conditions. If the government agency responsible for that road knew or should have known about the hazard and did nothing, you might have a case for compensation.
Other Negligent Parties
Someone other than the hit and run driver could have contributed to your accident. That might include drivers of other cars or trucks, bicyclists, or pedestrians. In that case, they could share a portion of the responsibility for your injuries. You could submit a claim to their insurer or sue the party directly.
Employers of Negligent Parties
Sometimes employers might be responsible for the harm caused by the negligence of their workers. Hasner Law will always try to determine if an accident was caused – at least in part – by someone who was working. If so, we can seek compensation from their employer (who probably has deeper pockets).
Vehicle or product defects can contribute to or cause an accident. If we determine that this is the case, we can fight to hold the manufacturer or retailer strictly liable for a portion of your damages.
How a Hit and Run Might Affect the Statute of Limitations in Your Case
In Georgia, all personal injury lawsuits must be filed within what’s known as a statute of limitations. For claims arising from most car accidents, the statute of limitations is two years. So, following a collision, you’ll typically have two years to file a claim and demand compensation.
What if the hit and run driver can’t be located within two years of your accident? Does that mean that they’re off the hook? No. There are certain times when the statute of limitations can be tolled. Tolling means that the clock stops running for a period of time, until the tolling factor is resolved. In other words, the statute of limitations can be paused until the negligent driver is located. This protects your ability to recover compensation when someone else is trying to skirt the law.
It’s also important to consider that fleeing the scene of an accident is a crime. So, the hit and run driver could potentially face criminal charges in connection with your accident. In that case, it’s possible that a related civil action – like your personal injury lawsuit – would be put on hold. As long as your case is filed on time, this won’t affect your right to recover compensation. In fact, the criminal matter could even help bolster your claim.
Hasner Law will handle any obstacles that are thrown at you during your pursuit of compensation. Give us a call to learn more today.
Contact Our Atlanta Hit and Run Car Accident Lawyers For Help
Hit and run accidents can be incredibly stressful. Let the Atlanta car accident lawyers at Hasner Law help you demand the financial compensation you need and deserve. We offer a free case assessment, so call to schedule yours today.