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Georgia drivers who are involved in an accident that causes injury or results in at least $500 in property damage have a legal duty to stop, offer reasonable assistance, and report the accident to the authorities. A motorist who fails to stop after an accident that causes severe injury or death can be charged with a felony, which could result in 1-5 years in prison.
Leaving the scene of a less serious accident or one involving a parked vehicle is usually charged as a misdemeanor. Depending on the driver’s previous history, they may receive a fine, jail time, or both.
Despite substantial penalties for hit-and-run drivers, these accidents remain a problem, and not every hit-and-run motorist is caught. The police will work to find the driver, but in many cases, they have little to go on.
Sometimes, the circumstances of the accident make it impossible for the victim to see the hit-and-run driver’s license plate number. If the police only have a vehicle description of a common make and model, it will be very difficult for them to find the perpetrator.
Unfortunately, you may still have serious injuries, high medical bills, a loss of income, and other damages from the accident. Many of our clients ask if there is any way to recover these damages when the driver has not been identified.
The good news is that in many hit-and-run cases, we can help the injured party secure compensation for their injuries. There are several options we may consider, depending on the circumstances:
This is sometimes the best solution, but it’s not always practical. If the police haven’t located the driver after a reasonable amount of time, we will review the details of your case and complete our own investigation.
Our team may canvas the area where the collision occurred, looking for photo or video evidence or a witness who could have been missed in the earlier investigation. In some cases, we uncover new evidence that helps the police make an arrest.
Once the hit-and-run driver is identified, we can make a claim on their car insurance for your damages. If the driver turns out to be uninsured—which is common and often the reason the driver fled the scene—we will consider other options, such as suing the driver directly or using your uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UI).
Sometimes, there simply isn’t enough evidence available to identify the hit-and-run driver. Fortunately, you can use your UM/UI coverage in this situation, too.
Your insurance company will consider an unidentified hit-and-run driver to be uninsured. If the driver is somehow identified after your UM/UI claim is paid, the insurance company will attempt to recoup its payout from the driver or their insurance company.
People often want to know what damages UM/UI insurance covers. Typically, you’ll buy two types of UM/UI coverage: Bodily injury and property damage. These start at $25,000 each, which is the minimum required for liability insurance in each category.
Bodily injury insurance covers your medical bills and other expenses associated with your injuries in the accident, including lost income, travel costs to see a doctor, mobility aids or other equipment, etc.
Property damage insurance will cover repairs or replacement costs for your vehicle and sometimes other valuables damaged in the accident, like a computer or phone.
It’s important to understand that liability insurance, which is required by law in Georgia, covers damage you cause to others in an accident. It will not cover your own losses, like medical bills or car repairs.
UM/UI coverage, which is optional in Georgia, will cover your damages if an uninsured or underinsured driver causes them. If you are in an accident with a hit-and-run driver who is not identified, UM/UI coverage will likely be your only hope to recover your damages.
Like liability insurance, UM/UI has a policy limit. If you only purchased the minimum of $25,000, that’s all you will be able to recover.
If you have a limit of $100,000, you can recover up to that amount. We recommend purchasing as much UM/UI coverage as you can afford since it is the only option for recovery in some situations. However, having any amount of UM/UI insurance is better than none.
An insurance company can reject any kind of claim for a wide variety of reasons. In many car accident cases, the insurance company denies the claim based on a disagreement about fault.
If the insurance company believes that you—not the hit-and-run driver—caused the accident, they could reject the claim. Your lawyer can help you build a case to show you were not at fault (Alternatively, if you have MedPay and Collision coverage, these policies will pay for your medical bills and property damage even if you can’t prove the hit-and-run driver was responsible).
In other situations, the insurance carrier may say that your claim isn’t covered due to their interpretation of a policy clause. Insurance policies tend to be full of lengthy sentences and obscure language, and the insurance company reps know that few people read them; even fewer fully understand the policy and the ways a judge might interpret it.
As a result, policyholders often take the insurance adjuster’s word that their damage isn’t covered. The good news is that your hit-and-run accident lawyer is well acquainted with insurance policy language and the laws regarding insurance policies.
If your claim has been rejected, we’re happy to review it and help you fight the insurance carrier if they’ve denied the claim unfairly. It’s always a good idea to seek legal advice after an insurance claim denial.
It’s bad enough when a driver hits another vehicle and takes off, but pedestrian or bicycle collisions are often more serious because the walker or biker doesn’t have the protections provided in a car—seatbelts, airbags, a strong roll cage, etc. The person hit by a vehicle is often severely injured and cannot call for help.
If the driver flees, the injured person might not receive medical care for hours, worsening their injuries.
The police take these situations very seriously and will do everything they can to find the driver, but if there simply isn’t enough evidence, they may not succeed. However, you can still seek compensation from your UM/UI policy, which covers you and not just your car.
In other words, you don’t have to be in your car when the accident happens in order to use your UM/UI coverage.
If your car is movable, pull over and park in the nearest place you can do so safely. Try to get the license plate number of the vehicle that hit you, and if you can’t, quickly write down the best description you can of the vehicle.
Call 911 to report the accident and request medical assistance. Check yourself for injuries, and let the paramedics look you over even if you don’t think you have any.
If they recommend you go to the hospital for a further examination, please take their advice.
It’s not unusual for the adrenaline rush of an accident to suppress pain initially—sometimes, accident victims don’t begin to experience symptoms of their injuries for several hours or days. If you develop new pain or symptoms within a few weeks of your accident, or your symptoms worsen, please see a healthcare professional right away.
Be sure to mention your accident to the doctor in case it’s related.
Speak with a hit-and-run lawyer as soon as possible to protect your legal rights.
Please contact the CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm for a free, confidential consultation. We know how devastating a hit-and-run accident can be, and we’ll do everything we can to help you get the compensation you deserve.
If there’s a way to recover your damages, we’ll find it, and there’s no fee until we win or settle your case.
Attorney Ali Awad founded the CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm only a few short years ago and transformed it into one of the fastest-growing law firms in the country. Mr. Awad and his legal team have more than twenty years of combined experience and have successfully recovered millions of dollars for injured people and their families.
The team at the CEO Lawyer is not afraid to take on big insurance companies or fight for your rights in court. When he’s not hard at work on a case, Mr. Awad posts down-to-earth legal advice for over a million followers on social media.
Call a hit-and-run accident lawyer today at 833-254-2923.
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After a personal injury, you're bound to have legal questions. The CEO Lawyer Ali Awad can provide you with answers to these questions, just as he's given answers to his millions of curious social media followers. Take a look at some of the most common personal injury law questions for general information, and then reach out to one of our seasoned attorneys for specific guidance on your case!
To quickly resolve matters following an accident, insurance companies will offer you less than you deserve in compensation for your injuries. Many victims feel pressured to accept these offers as the bills begin to pile up, but that is rarely a good idea. The insurance company is looking to protect its bottom line; and will offer injured victims less than they deserve. An experienced personal injury attorney understands how to negotiate with the insurance company and can look out for your best interests by getting you the compensation you deserve after an injury. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, it is important to avoid negotiating or providing recorded statements to the insurance company without first seeking help from a qualified personal injury attorney.
The best way to determine if you have a personal injury case is to speak with a knowledgeable attorney. Our legal professionals have the expertise to evaluate your case and determine a strong legal strategy so that you can obtain the greatest amount of compensation possible under the law. We will enlist investigators, assistants, and other specialists to collect accident reports, speak with witnesses to your accident, and put together a plan. While you focus on your physical recovery, we will remain committed to fighting for the compensation that you deserve.
Accident victims have a limited time to file a personal injury lawsuit. This time period is referred to as the statute of limitations, and in Atlanta, it lasts only two years. This means that if you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, you have only two years to pursue a personal injury suit. If you wait too long to reach out to an experienced attorney, you might be forever barred from seeking the compensation you deserve.
During your initial consultation with CEO Lawyer team, we will go over the important details of your personal injury accident, which include the nature and extent of your injuries, how your injuries have impacted your ability to earn a paycheck, the cost of your medical treatment, and whether further medical treatment will be required. We will answer any questions you might have, as well, in regards to our experience, our track record of success, and what to expect from the legal process. Many personal injury victims wonder if they will be able to afford the legal fees required to pursue a lawsuit. CEO Lawyer injury and accident attorneys will not ask for any type of upfront fee unless we are successful in obtaining compensation for you. That means that if you have been harmed in a motor vehicle accident, slip and fall accident, defective product accident, or any other type of personal injury accident, you can absolutely afford to contact our law office today for assistance. In fact, you cannot afford to wait. Reach out today. We understand that some accident victims might have already obtained the assistance of an attorney but may be dissatisfied with the services provided. We are standing by and prepared to help you change legal representation, regardless of where you are in the process.
If you or a loved one has been injured in any type of personal injury accident, you should not hesitate to speak with the experienced attorneys at CEO Lawyer personal injury law firm. Call, email, or fill out our online contact form today so that we can begin helping you pursue the compensation you deserve.