Hit-and-run accidents are every driver and pedestrian’s worst nightmare: By definition, it can be nearly impossible to locate the negligent driver and hold them accountable for their reckless behavior. Even more alarming is the fact that hit-and-run accidents are on the rise, especially in major cities like San Jose and the Bay Area.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the number of such accidents rose by almost 14% in the short time between 2009 and 2011. In 2018, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety also recorded over 2,049 deaths related to hit-and-run accidents – a record high, as well as a startling 60% increase from the original numbers recorded by the NHTSA in 2009.
Because these injury claims can be so complicated to navigate, it’s important to hire the right personal injury lawyer who can advocate for your interests. Whether you’ve already identified the at-fault driver or not, you are entitled to appropriate compensation when you’ve been the victim of a hit-and-run.
What Do I Do After a Hit-and-Run?
The first thing you should do after a major hit-and-run accident is assess the scope of your damages, and call emergency responders and local police immediately. Even if you don’t believe that your injuries are that severe, it’s important to be examined by a medical professional. In a hit-and-run accident claim, the only evidence of the collision is your injuries and your property damage, as the driver is not present to account for their actions.
Because very few hit-and-run cases are actually resolved, you will most likely need to file a claim with your insurance provider rather than pursue a personal injury lawsuit. These cases typically fall under your uninsured motorist policy, but unfortunately, you will not receive coverage for property damage without an identified driver. The insurance company will also give you an incredibly low settlement to start, knowing that most people will accept an offer right away.
Navigating the Claims Process
Of course, if you did happen to see the license plate number – or car make and model – of the negligent driver’s vehicle, it’s important to report that information to the police immediately. A hit-and-run is also a criminal act in the state of California, and having that information will make it easier to identify the party involved in your crash. Additionally, you will be empowered to file a personal injury lawsuit and seek full damages for your suffering if the driver is identified.
Whether you’re dealing with an insurance claims adjuster or facing a lengthy court battle, our team at Habbas & Associates can be your guide throughout this process. Offering compassionate counsel and 175 years of experience, our trusted car accident attorneys can fight for the fair recovery that you deserve after such a serious violation. Because we are passionate about making a difference in our clients’ lives, you can count on us to provide emotional and legal support as you pursue justice.
For more information, call (888) 387-4053 today!