Involvement in a hit-and-run accident can be very traumatizing. However, the situation gets even worse when the other driver bails and you’re left with property damage and medical bills.
Many people are unsure if they need a car accident lawyer in this situation.
Schmidt & Clark lawyers have decades of experience in filing personal injury claims. Today, we’ll use our expertise to explain everything you should know about hiring a hit-and-run attorney.
Summary of the Key Findings
- The first thing injured victims should do after a car accident is to get medical help. Then, they should call the police and hire legal representation.
- A lawyer can help you build a personal injury case and get a settlement.
- There are several damages you can get after a hit-and-run incident, including economic and non-economic damages.
What You Should Do After a Hit-and-Run Accident
If you’ve been involved in a hit-and-run accident, you’re probably in shock. Try to stay calm and follow this list of things to do:
- Move your car to a safe area and check if you or your passengers need medical attention.
- Call the police to do an investigation and create a police report that you can later use in a car accident claim.
- Seek medical attention, so you can also use medical records in a car accident case.
- Take photos of your vehicle, the street, including street signs. This will help when you have to deal with the insurance company.
- Talk to witnesses if there are any and get their contact information.
- Get a lawyer, even if you’re in a minor accident. Lawyers will explain what you can expect and what the next steps are.
- You or your personal injury lawyer should check if any security cameras recorded the car accident.
- File an insurance claim to let them know you’ve been in a hit-and-run accident. You and your lawyer should have all the necessary evidence to expedite the process.
3 Ways a Lawyer Can Help You
There are several ways in which a lawyer can help you with car accident claims:
1. Gather Evidence
If you need medical attention immediately and aren’t in a condition to gather evidence yourself, car accident lawyers can do all of this for you.
A lawyer will:
- Take photos of the accident scene and your vehicle
- Get the police report
- Take eyewitness statements
- Gather medical and work records
- Get information from a vehicle’s event data recorder
An attorney can also consult with other experts and build a strong personal injury claim so you can get a better settlement.
2. File the Claim on Time
Each US state has its own statute of limitations. This is the period in which you have to file a claim. The statute of limitations is 2 years in most states, but it can go up to 6 years .
“The statute of limitations is a law that sets the maximum amount of time that parties in a dispute have to initiate legal proceedings.” Investopedia
Depending on your injury, you may not notice any symptoms for days or weeks after the accident.
Or, you may end up receiving treatment for years, which can be very expensive. You don’t want to miss filing the claim on time and be left without any compensation.
Personal injury attorneys will be familiar with the statute of limitations in your state and help you file the lawsuit on time.
3. Get Higher Compensation and Deal with the Insurance Company
After a hit-and-run accident, you can encounter medical bills, lost income, vehicle expenses, and other costs.
The Insurance Research Council study found that car accident victims who hire a car accident attorney are 3.5 times more likely to have a higher settlement .
Even if you have uninsured motorist coverage, it may not be easy to get a settlement if you’re injured by a hit-and-run driver.
An experienced car accident attorney will know all the tactics insurance companies use. Insurance companies strive to pay low settlements or none at all.
Your lawyer can negotiate with the insurance adjuster and help you get fair compensation.
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What Damages You Can Get After a Hit-and-Run Accident
If a hit-and-run driver has hit you, you can get the following damages from the insurance companies:
- Medical expenses
- Care repair or replacement
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capability
- Rental car costs
- Pain and suffering
Is it Worth Hiring a Car Accident Lawyer?
Yes, hiring a car accident attorney is worth it. They can focus on dealing with insurance companies and the insurance adjusters and gathering evidence while you recover. A good attorney will also help you get a higher settlement.
When Should I Hire an Attorney After an Accident?
You should hire an attorney immediately or a couple of days after the accident.
Do You Need a Lawyer After a Hit-and-Run Accident?
No matter if you have been involved in a hit-and-run incident or other types of car accidents, you should consider hiring a lawyer. Sustaining injuries because of a hit-and-run driver can be traumatizing, and the process of filing a claim afterward is often overwhelming for the victims.
An experienced personal injury attorney can help you with the process by gathering evidence, medical records, negotiating with your insurance company, and providing legal advice.
Schmidt & Clark accident attorneys have almost three decades of experience handling car accident cases and helping people receive a fair settlement.
Contact our law firm, schedule a free consultation as soon as today and get professional legal representation.