Any accident is a difficult experience when you get hurt, but when another driver flees the scene you have more to think about during your recovery. Hit-and-run accidents make up nearly 12% of accidents nationwide, and one out of every five pedestrian deaths is caused by a hit-and-run crash.
A hit-and-run car accident leaves a victim with many questions and potential consequences to their life. It can also leave family members wanting to seek justice through a wrongful death lawsuit.
Finding the right Little Rock car accident lawyers may help you launch an investigation to determine the at-fault party for your injuries and help you to explore all possible avenues for compensation. The team at Denton & Zachary is here for you.
What To Do After Becoming a Victim Of A Hit-And-Run
Your first priority after a hit-and-run accident should be to get medical attention. This is to rule out any more serious injuries and to ensure that you have documented the appropriate symptoms and diagnostic tests that may be used to identify your issues.
After a vehicle accident in Arkansas, drivers are required by law to stay at the scene. Legally, a hit and run accident means that the other party has left rather than staying and following the appropriate process.
You may not have the other driver’s contact information, name, registration number, or even license plate or vehicle type. In these circumstances, it’s still important to file a police report and to gather as much evidence as you can at the scene of the accident. This evidence may be used to help identify the responsible party, especially when the police have eyewitness testimony about the other car involved in the wreck.
Why Drivers May Flee the Scene
There are various reasons why drivers may leave the scene of the accident even though they are legally responsible to stay there and to share contact information. Some of the most common reasons that a person may leave the scene include:
- They know they caused the accident and want to avoid liability
- They may have warrants out for their arrest
- The driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident
- The driver did not have insurance or enough insurance
- The driver doesn’t have approved/documented immigration status
- The driver panics and simply flees the scene
No matter what the reason, a driver should not leave the scene of any accident.
What Are the Most Common Injuries In Hit-And-Run Collisions?
The most common injuries can include whiplash, head trauma, skull fractures, spinal cord injuries, broken bones, and more. Many of these injuries occur together, making it harder for a victim to fully recover quickly. Often, treatment times and recovery periods pull this person out of work for some time, too.
These issues may lead to lost wages and medical bills or even noneconomic damages such as disfigurement, loss of consortium or pain and suffering. The right lawyer can make a big impact in the outcome of your case.
When you suffer injuries as a victim in a hit-and-run accident, you may be entitled to recover compensation for damages, but it can be difficult to do so if you do not know the identity of the person who caused the accident.
Finding the right attorney is extremely important because your lawyer can use the evidence you have from the accident scene and details from the police to help to determine who may be responsible.
How long must drivers stay at the scene of an accident in Arkansas?
Arkansas Code Title 27, Subtitle 4, Chapter 53 covers the rules for drivers involved in an auto accident. If there is an accident that only caused property damage, the driver should stop near the scene to exchange personal information.
If anyone is killed or injured in the wreck, these drivers must also stop and share contact information. Any uninjured party should also offer reasonable assistance, such as calling 911. Drivers must stay at the scene for a reasonable amount of time to allow law enforcement officers to arrive. Wait at least half an hour if you get into an accident, and call the police.
How long after an accident can I file a lawsuit?
Especially since it might take some time to determine who hit you or a family member, you may not file a lawsuit right away. Arkansas law requires that you file a lawsuit within three years after the accident.
Keep track of other accident details and any bills from the accident or a loved one’s death in the event you find out who caused the wreck. If you don’t know the identity of the other driver, you should still notify your insurance company immediately.
A hit-and-run lawyer in Little Rock is extremely helpful for assisting you with exploring all of your possible avenues for compensation recovery. If the at-fault party can be identified and you have exceeded your PIP insurance cap, you may need to file a lawsuit against that at-fault party.
If they were not carrying appropriate insurance coverage, filing a lawsuit may not fully compensate you for the injuries sustained because a person who isn’t carrying any or the right amount of insurance is unlikely to have enough assets to make it worth filing a suit. In many cases, victims hurt in hit-and-run accidents turn to their optional uninsured motorist coverage.
If you carry this insurance coverage, it will cover your personal injuries up to the policy limit and is a supplement to your PIP coverages. Making a strong case with the insurance company about the severity of your injuries in a hit-and-run accident can be challenging.
Request the Help of a Lawyer for Hit and Run Victims
Hiring the right lawyers to help you move forward after a hit and run accident can greatly reduce your stress and position you to recover maximum compensation. Our lawyers may be able to assist you in gathering evidence from area video cameras or hiring accident reconstruction experts to tell how the incident occurred if the at-fault party is found.
If you have questions about the legal process, contact a dedicated attorney in Little Rock today to learn more about your rights. Speak to a lawyer at Denton & Zachary today.