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What are Your Rights as a Hit-and-Run Victim

hit-and-run victim
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A hit-and-run accident can be a traumatic experience, leaving you with injuries and emotional stress. Unfortunately, this common occurrence often leaves victims feeling helpless and vulnerable. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there are approximately 682,000 hit-and-run accidents annually in the United States.

This means knowing that you have certain rights when dealing with this situation is essential. In this blog post, you will learn your rights as a hit-and-run victim and what steps you should take after an accident.

Definition of Hit-and-Run

A hit-and-run is a car accident in which one driver leaves the scene without stopping to provide assistance or identify themselves to the other driver or the authorities. This type of behavior is illegal in all states, and as a driver, you have a responsibility to stop and help if you’re involved in an accident. If you’re involved in a hit-and-run, it’s important to remember that you can still be held responsible for the accident even if you weren’t at fault.

Why Hit-and-Runs Are So Dangerous

Hit-and-run accidents are dangerous for many reasons. The biggest concern is the lack of medical attention for accident victims. If someone is seriously injured, every second counts, and delaying medical attention can be a matter of life and death. Additionally, hit-and-runs can cause emotional trauma for the victims and their families.

It can be devastating to know that someone hurt you or your loved one and then left without taking any responsibility for their actions. Dangerous drivers who flee the scene may continue to drive recklessly, putting other motorists in harm’s way.

Your Legal Rights

There is more to a hit-and-run than just being an accident victim. You also have certain rights, and it’s important to understand them to ensure your rights are protected. Here’s a brief overview:

The Right to Compensation

As a hit-and-run victim, you have the right to compensation for any damages incurred due to the accident. This compensation can include medical bills, lost wages, and property damage. If the at-fault driver is identified, you may be able to file a claim with their insurance company.

However, some insurance companies will give you a hard time or even deny your claim. That is why consulting with a reputable insurance attorney before taking action is essential. An attorney can help you understand the legal process and ensure that you are treated fairly.

Also, many hit-and-run drivers are never caught, which is where uninsured motorist coverage can come in handy. This coverage will provide compensation if the at-fault driver is not found.

The Right to Access Information

You can access information about the accident, such as the police report, witness statements, and any surveillance footage that may have captured the incident. This information can be vital in determining who was at fault and pursuing compensation. You can request this information from the police department, and it is crucial to do so immediately after the accident.

The Right to File a Lawsuit

If you cannot settle with the at-fault driver or their insurance company, you have the right to file a lawsuit. This may be necessary if you have suffered extensive damages exceeding your insurance coverage’s limits. A personal injury attorney can help you navigate the legal process and ensure that your rights as a hit-and-run victim are protected.

The Right to Emotional Support

Being involved in a hit-and-run accident can be emotionally traumatic, and it is important to seek support if you are struggling to cope. You have the right to access counseling services and other forms of emotional support to help you deal with the accident’s aftermath. Your insurance provider may cover these services, so check your policy.

The Bottom Line

Being the victim of a hit-and-run accident can be a traumatizing experience, but knowing that you have rights is essential. As a hit-and-run victim, you have the right to compensation, access to information, the ability to file a lawsuit, emotional support, and advocacy. Ensure you take the necessary steps to protect your rights and get the help you need to recover after the ordeal.

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