Crashing into someone and then fleeing the scene is a sorry thing to do. It's also illegal.
The at-fault driver in a hit-and-run collision can be held liable for punitive damages under Georgia law for two reasons. First, by running away, the driver has shown "conscious indifference to the consequences" of his or her actions, which is the standard for punitive damages under Georgia law. Second, by running away, the driver may have put the victim in even greater danger since the victim could be disabled, stopped on the roadway, and vulnerable to being hit again.
Hit-and-run accidents are not common, but they happen more than they should. Most hit-and-runs are car accidents, but a disproportionate number of them occur in motorcycle, bicycle, or pedestrian accidents. There is no clear data on the issue, but we suspect that there are two reasons for that. First, motorcycle, bicycle, or pedestrian accidents tend to be severe, so at-fault drivers may be afraid to face the consequences of what they've done. Second, since the motorcycle, bicycle, or pedestrian is usually disabled after the collision, the at-fault driver may be confident that he or she can get away.
Even if the at-fault driver gets away, the case is still worth evaluating with a good hit-and-run lawyer. There are two reasons . First, sometimes law enforcement will catch the at-fault driver long after the collision. (We can tell you a story about that.) Second, we can sometimes find other insurance to provide coverage for the victim's injuries.