When an at-fault driver leaves the scene of an accident, every negative aspect of getting into a crash—the shock, disruption, and inconvenience—is magnified. When the accident leaves you injured, you might also be concerned about how you will get compensated when the at-fault driver’s identity is unknown.
You deserve compensation, but the process of obtaining it can be complicated if the other driver fled the scene. When you suffer losses in a hit and run car accident in Terre Haute, contact our experienced car crash attorneys as soon as you can. They could review the situation, advise you on the best way to proceed, and handle negotiations with the insurance carriers to obtain a reasonable settlement.
The insurance company for the at-fault driver pays the losses involved in the crash. When an at-fault driver flees the scene, anyone injured might have limited recourse. If an injured driver bought certain coverages, their insurance company could pay their damages.
Every insurer selling automobile policies must offer uninsured motorist coverage; however, a driver can opt out of the coverage in writing. If a driver did not opt out, they could claim damages caused by the hit and run driver from their uninsured motorist coverage. If an injured driver purchased optional personal injury protection (PIP) or MedPay, those policies could cover their medical costs.
An injured driver making a claim against their own insurance carrier might be surprised at how reluctant their insurance carrier is to provide an adequate settlement. Insurance companies are for-profit companies whose loyalty to shareholders exceeds their concern for customers. A driver trying to secure a settlement from their own insurance company following a hit and run crash in Terre Haute should enlist a skilled lawyer to negotiate on their behalf.
Indiana law requires drivers to stay at the scene of accidents and provide their contact information to others involved. Failing to do so is a misdemeanor if the accident resulted in only property damage and a felony if the accident produced serious injuries. Hit and run drivers often turn themselves in, or police track them down.
When the driver who left the scene is known, an injured person could file a claim against the driver’s insurance company. Personal injury lawsuits require an injured person to prove another party—in this case, the hit and run driver—was negligent. The fact that the driver left the scene is evidence of negligence, but an attorney still must demonstrate that the driver’s actions were a direct cause of the injuries.
Indiana law requires anyone bringing a personal injury lawsuit to file within a deadline. Building a robust case is easier when evidence is fresh and witnesses are available.
Whether an at-fault driver did the right thing and stopped or fled the scene, an accident victim is entitled to compensation for their losses. Economic or special damages include expenses such as property loss or damage, medical bills, and diminished income due to the injury. Non-economic or general damages are intangible losses like:
Special and general damages are compensatory damages because they compensate for a specific loss the injured person suffered. In some cases, an attorney might also seek punitive damages.
A court might award punitive damages when a defendant’s behavior is so outrageous that the judge feels it must be punished.
A hit and run crash can have a devastating impact on your physical, emotional, and financial well-being. Even if the driver is never located, you can pursue compensation.
Seek the services of a local injury attorney if you were hurt in a hit and run car accident in Terre Haute. Call now to discuss your situation with a knowledgeable lawyer at Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin.
Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin
The financial burden that often comes with a serious injury can be too much for many people to bear. Unexpected medical debt, damaged personal property, and the sudden loss of income can impact the budgets of most families. The good news is that a successful injury claim could help reduce that financial strain after a serious accident. Get in touch with a Terre Haute personal injury lawyer with Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin to learn more.
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