car accident

All drivers should know that everyone involved is supposed to stop in a safe location and exchange information when a car accident occurs. But occasionally, in an effort to avoid responsibility, a driver will flee the scene of a crash. That can be immensely frustrating and even potentially life-threatening if they leave an injured victim at the scene of the crash.

If you were involved in a crash and the other driver left the accident scene, it may be impossible to make a claim against them if authorities cannot track them down. That means you could be saddled with expenses for which you should not be responsible.

It’s important to know that you still have options if you’ve been involved in an accident with a hit-and-run driver. For example, you might be able to recover compensation under the uninsured motorist (UM) coverage on your auto policy.

The experienced hit-and-run accident lawyers at Butler Kahn are ready to analyze your situation and determine your best legal options for pursuing compensation. If you think we might be able to help you, contact us to discuss your case in a free consultation.

YouTube video

What Does Georgia Law Say About Hit-and-Run Accidents in Atlanta?

Under Georgia law, all motorists involved in a collision must stop at the scene if the accident resulted in injuries, vehicle damage, or death.

Motorists must render aid or call for help if anyone involved in the crash was injured. They also have to exchange contact information and insurance details with each other.

Failure to do this is a misdemeanor. If the accident resulted in serious injuries or death, then a hit-and-run becomes a felony offense.

Reasons Drivers Leave the Scene of an Atlanta Accident without Stopping

An attempt to avoid liability is one of the most common reasons drivers will flee the scene of an accident. In Georgia, the at-fault individual is responsible for compensating crash victims. If a motorist is uninsured, they may flee the scene to avoid paying for the victims’ financial losses.

Other common reasons why drivers flee the scene include:

  • The driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • The driver was operating a stolen vehicle.
  • The driver was carrying illegal drugs.
  • The driver did not have a valid driver’s license.
  • The driver feared losing their commercial driver’s license.
  • The driver feared being held criminally liable for injuries or deaths that occurred due to the accident.
  • The driver had warrants out for their arrest.
  • The driver was using a company vehicle, and they didn’t want their employer to find out they caused a collision.

What Should I Do If I Get Hurt in an Atlanta Hit-and-Run Accident?

If you were involved in a hit-and-run collision, you should take several steps in the immediate aftermath of the accident:

  • Pull over and stop your vehicle in a safe spot.
  • Call 911 and request law enforcement assistance.
  • Take notes detailing any descriptive information you can remember about the car that hit you or its driver.
  • Seek medical attention at the scene if you are injured.
  • If you are not seriously injured, safely exit the vehicle and scan the area for any potential witnesses to the accident. Witnesses can provide an objective view of what happened and could provide helpful information about the driver’s identity and the vehicle that hit you.

You should give law enforcement as much information about the at-fault party as possible. That may enable them to track down the hit-and-run driver. Even if it’s a tiny detail that seems insignificant, be sure to let them know.

What Role Can Uninsured Motorist Coverage Play in an Atlanta Hit-and-Run?

If the driver who hit you fled the scene of the collision, and if police cannot track down the hit-and-run driver, you may have to turn to your own insurance coverage to pay for medical expenses, property damage, and other losses related to the accident.

In this instance, if you have purchased uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage, you could turn to your UM/UIM policy for compensation. If the hit-and-run driver cannot be located, they would be treated as an “uninsured” motorist.

UM coverage could cover expenses such as:

  • Medical expenses resulting from the accident
  • Lost wages if you are unable to work for some time due to your injuries
  • Physical and emotional pain and suffering, such as emotional distress, mental anguish, post-traumatic stress disorder, and loss of enjoyment of life
  • Property damage, such as the cost to repair or replace your vehicle

Even though you are dealing with “your” insurance company on a UM claim, the insurance adjuster’s goal remains the same as in any case – to make your claim go away for as little money as possible. The insurance company’s interests are not the same as yours. That is why you need a dedicated car accident lawyer who will stand up for your right to full compensation for all your losses.

The Statute of Limitations for Atlanta Hit-and-Run Cases

Statute of limitations book with gavel on the table.The statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits in Georgia is two years in most cases. That means you have two years from the date of the accident to initiate legal action against the at-fault driver if they can be found. If you do not take legal action within that window of time, then you will likely lose your ability to pursue compensation through the court system.

Types of Hit-and-Run Cases Our Atlanta Auto Accident Attorneys Handle

At Butler Kahn, we handle many different types of hit-and-run accident cases, including:

  • Accidents where one vehicle hits another on the road and leaves the scene
  • Accidents where a driver causes another motorist to crash without the two cars colliding
  • Hit-and-run accidents involving bicyclists and pedestrians

No matter the circumstances of the hit-and-run accident you were involved in, we can discuss your case and help you evaluate your legal options.

When You Need Help from an Atlanta Hit-and-Run Accident Lawyer

Being involved in a hit-and-run accident can be a terrifying experience, especially if you’re left injured at the scene of the crash. At Butler Kahn, our Atlanta car accident lawyers are highly experienced with hit-and-run cases. We know what steps to take to build a case for the compensation you need, whether you’re filing a lawsuit against the hit-and-run driver or turning to your own insurance for recovery.

If you would like to find out more about how we can help you pursue every potential avenue of recovery, reach out to us for a free discussion about your situation.