Vehicle collision cases are challenging enough when the defendant is present, but they can be extremely complex if the defendant fled the scene of the accident. As such, hit-and-run accidents in Decatur often require the guidance of an experienced attorney in the area. A resourceful lawyer could help you investigate into who could be responsible and ensure you understand your uninsured motorist coverage.
How is Hit-and-Run Defined by Decatur Law?
A hit-and-run accident is an automobile accident where the at-fault party hits either a pedestrian, cyclist, motorcyclists, or other vehicle and after the impact flees the scene. These collisions can have added complexity if it is impossible to successfully identify the at-fault driver.
Attorneys in Decatur often find that hit-and-run collisions involve drivers who were under the influence of drugs or alcohol and/or without insurance coverage. In cases where they cannot determine the identity of the at-fault driver or if the at-fault driver does not have insurance, it is important for a plaintiff to look to their own auto insurance policy and pursue an uninsured motorist claim.
Unique Aspects of Hit-and-Run Collisions
Hit-and-run cases are different from other cases because the at-fault driver did not just make a mistake, they engaged in criminal conduct. A jury can understand that someone can have a moment of human weakness making mistakes, but there is no satisfactory explanation as to why a driver who hit someone else should flee the scene. This is particularly true in cases where that driver caused an injury.
These cases can also involve criminal proceedings against the at-fault party because of the very serious nature of their misconduct. In Decatur hit-and-run cases, claimants may ask our office to help them exercise their rights as a victim of the crime by coordinating communications with the Macon County State’s Attorney’s Office.
Additionally, if the at-fault driver is never located, there is no ability to pursue recovery from their insurance policy. In these cases, it is particularly important to have a local lawyer who is familiar with handling uninsured motorist claims because a hit-and-run accident can be processed as an uninsured motorist claim.
Recovering Damages without a Defendant Driver
The damages that would be available in a hit-and-run case generally fall within two categories: economic damages and non-economic damages.
Economic damages tend to be damages that can be associate with a specific dollar amount. These can include things like their medical expenses of both past medical care and future medical care.
Economic damages would also include their lost wages and loss of benefits through their work. Additionally, a person can recover economic damages related to any caretaking expenses or other help they need in the past and in the future because of their injuries.
Non-economic damages are perhaps a little harder to calculate but they can be a very substantial part of a claimant in a Decatur hit-and-run accident. In part, non-economic damages are meant to pay for a person’s emotional and physical harm, or their pain and suffering. Additionally, non-economic damages could include compensation for loss of normal life or any temporary or permanent disability to do things that they enjoy in their life.
Because of the extraordinarily reckless and criminal conduct involved in hit-and-run cases, it may be appropriate for punitive damages to be awarded to punish the at-fault party for their conduct.
Contact a Decatur Attorney After a Hit-and-Run Accident
Hit-and-run accidents in Decatur should not be handled without skilled representation. If you were injured in a collision where the defendant fled the scene, you should be sure to promptly speak with our experienced attorneys. Call today to schedule your initial consultation.