Have you suffered injuries in an auto accident where the driver who hit you fled the scene? Being the victim of a hit-and-run accident can cause you major stress as you worry about paying for your medical care and everyday expenses if you cannot work. Fortunately, you may have legal options to seek compensation for your losses.
A Lawrenceville hit-and-run accident lawyer from Butler Kahn can help. We work tirelessly to prepare the strongest, most persuasive case possible to seek maximum financial relief. Our attorneys will aggressively advocate for your rights, even if that means going to trial. And we will always give you honest, straightforward advice about your case – never making false promises or omitting important details.
Reach out to Butler Kahn for a free, no-obligation consultation to speak with a Lawrenceville hit-and-run accident lawyer from our firm. Let us help you better understand your options for pursuing the compensation you need for medical bills, lost income, and other losses so you can move forward after a devastating hit-and-run crash.
How Common Are Hit-and-Run Accidents?
According to the AAA Foundation, the frequency of hit-and-run accidents in the United States has increased by about 7 percent yearly over the past decade. Hit-and-run accidents accounted for more than 10 percent of all motor vehicle accidents nationwide, causing about 6 percent of all injuries and 5 percent of all traffic fatalities.
Some of the common reasons why a driver might flee an accident scene include the following:
- The driver is under the influence of alcohol or drugs and does not want to get caught.
- The driver already has a poor driving record and wants to avoid a citation or other consequences.
- The driver has an active arrest warrant.
- The driver does not have liability insurance or the financial resources to pay for losses from the accident.
- The driver does not have a valid driver’s license.
- The driver is in a stolen vehicle or a family member’s or friend’s vehicle without permission.
- The driver’s vehicle contains evidence of a crime, such as drugs or illegal weapons.
Are You Required to Stay at the Scene After an Accident in Georgia?
Georgia law requires drivers to immediately stop at or return to the scene of an accident resulting in vehicle damage, injuries, or death. Drivers must remain at the scene and fulfill the following obligations under the statute:
- Give their name, address, and vehicle registration number to the other drivers involved in the accident.
- Locate the owner of unattended vehicles or property involved in the accident or leave a written note with their information.
- Show their driver’s license upon request of a driver or passenger of another vehicle involved in the accident.
- Render reasonable assistance, including contacting emergency medical services, to anyone who requests medical attention or appears injured or in distress.
- Contact law enforcement and emergency medical services if anyone involved in the accident appears deceased or unconscious.
What Are the Criminal Penalties for Fleeing the Scene After an Accident in Georgia?
There are varying criminal penalties for fleeing the scene of a motor vehicle accident. These penalties will depend on the circumstance of the crash. For example, not stopping at the scene of an accident that causes vehicle damage or less severe injuries will result in a misdemeanor criminal charge. A conviction carries the following penalties:
- First offense – A fine of $300 to $1,000, up to 12 months in jail, or both
- Second offense within five years – A fine of $600 to $1,000, up to 12 months of incarceration, or both
- Third or subsequent conviction within five years – A fine of $1,000, up to 12 months of incarceration, or both
Fleeing the scene of an accident that results in serious injuries or death will result in a felony criminal charge with a penalty of one to five years imprisonment.
Will Insurance Cover Me After a Hit-and-Run Accident?
Even if you cannot locate the hit-and-run driver after an accident, you may have several kinds of insurance coverage to pursue compensation for your losses, including:
- Uninsured motorist (UM) coverage – If you selected optional UM coverage when purchasing your auto policy, you could file a claim with your insurer to seek compensation for injuries from a hit-and-run driver.
- MedPay – Insurers in Georgia may offer you optional medical payments (MedPay) coverage that compensates for medical expenses and other financial losses from injuries you suffer in a crash, regardless of who causes the accident.
- Comprehensive and collision – Optional comprehensive and collision coverage can help you pay for repairs to your damaged vehicle.
What Is the Deadline for Filing a Hit-and-Run Lawsuit in Georgia?
According to Georgia’s statute of limitations on personal injury claims, you typically have two years to file a lawsuit seeking compensation after a hit-and-run accident. The court will likely dismiss a lawsuit filed after the statutory deadline. Contact a Lawrenceville hit-and-run accident lawyer at Butler Kahn to ensure you do not miss any crucial deadlines in your case.
What Should I Do After a Hit-and-Run Accident?
The steps you need to take to protect your rights after a hit-and-run accident in Lawrenceville include the following:
- Immediately notify the police and contact emergency medical services if someone has suffered injuries.
- Identify witnesses and get their contact information.
- Collect as much evidence as possible at the scene.
- Seek medical attention and follow the doctor’s treatment instructions.
- Gather essential documents, including crash reports, medical records, bills, invoices, receipts, pay stubs, and income statements.
- Notify your auto insurance provider.
- Consult a hit-and-run accident attorney in Lawrenceville.
Contact a Lawrenceville Hit-and-Run Accident Lawyer
At Butler Kahn, we hope you have already begun the process of healing from the injuries you suffered in a hit-and-run accident. Hopefully, the information on this page has been helpful. If you’d like to discuss your situation with us, call or contact us online when you’re ready. There is no charge to talk with us about your case and learn more about your legal rights.