Three Things You Should Know If You Have Been Injured By A Hit-And-Run Driver
If you have been in an auto accident and have suffered injuries, then you need to seek the advice of a personal injury attorney. However, if you have been injured by a driver who fled the scene of an accident, consulting with an attorney takes on more significance. If you have been a victim of a hit-and-run driver, the following are a few things you should know.
Leaving the scene of an accident is a crime
If it's just a fender bender, then a driver is likely to receive a ticket. However, if a person flees the scene of an accident and there is an injured party involved, then it becomes a serious crime. You need to call the police if possible, but if your injuries are serious enough, someone else is likely to call. Along with medical attention, there will be a police investigation, and the car will be tracked down. The police may not always find the driver, but they often do. However, this may not happen the same day. Because there were injuries from the accident, the driver will be arrested and face criminal charges.
A civil suit is not dependent upon a criminal conviction
Because you were hurt by the hit-and-run driver, the accident becomes a crime. If the driver is found, they will likely face charges, as well as a judge. But this doesn't automatically mean they will be found guilty. Even a hit-and-run driver is innocent until proven guilty. It is possible that they could plead the charges down to a lesser charge or simply be found not guilty. If this were to happen, your attorney can still pursue a civil suit. The standards for guilt are lower than in a criminal court.
There are likely punitive damages
For most injuries, a driver or passenger can collect a variety of damages for their injury. Along with medical expenses, you can collect compensation for physical rehabilitation, lost income, and other monetary issues that are the result of your accident, including pain and suffering. But with a hit and run, there is also the possibility of punitive damages. This is money awarded to you as punishment for the actions of the hit-and-run driver.
Having a car accident with a car the drives away is different in significant ways from a typical accident with injuries. The driver who flees the scene of the accident is typically thought of as the one at fault for the accident and certainly guilty of a criminal offense. Although you should have an attorney when you have been injured in an accident, it takes on greater significance after a hit and run. Work with a hit and run attorney to get the compensation you deserve.