It can be frustrating, if not outright scary, to face medical bills and car repairs when the person who caused your accident fled the scene. Typically, you’d bill their insurance for your losses, but what can you do without that information? Fortunately, you have options to recover money for your injuries and other losses if you can’t do so the typical way.
At Cory Watson Attorneys, one of our Birmingham hit-and-run accident lawyers can help you seek compensation to cover your losses. We offer free consultations.
What Damages Can You Recover in a Birmingham Hit-and-Run Accident?
To recover compensation from the liable party, they will have to be tracked down by your local police. Once they are found, they may face criminal charges as well as your claim for compensation.
You could recover the following:
- Medical bills, including ambulance fees, emergency care, surgeries, hospitalization, physical therapy, doctor visits, medications, etc.
- Property damage, such as the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle or other damaged property
- Lost wages following the injury
- Reduced future earning capacity
Evaluating Your Non-Economic Losses
Not all losses caused by an accident are easy to calculate. An injury can profoundly alter your life, and some damages you’ve suffered cannot be easily calculated. Nevertheless, compensation is available for these kinds of losses. Your injury attorney can help you estimate their overall settlement value by consulting doctors, psychologists, or other experts.
You may be awarded compensation for the following non-economic damages:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Disfigurement or scarring
- Diminished quality of life
- Loss of life enjoyment
- Loss of spousal companionship
All of the potential costs of an accident can’t be included in one list. A lawyer can help you document the full extent of your losses to make sure you receive appropriate compensation.
For a free legal consultation with a hit and run accidents lawyer serving Birmingham, call 877-562-0000
What Insurance Covers a Hit-and-Run Accident?
Alabama is an at-fault state for car accidents, meaning the driver responsible and their insurer should be held accountable for covering your losses. This would be standard practice if the hit-and-run driver was located, insured, and proven liable.
In cases where the suspect can’t be identified, you may still be able to seek help from your insurer, such as through Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist coverage.
Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) Coverage
UM/UIM coverage is added insurance that covers medical expenses if you are injured in an accident with someone who doesn’t have insurance—or if they flee the scene and can’t be found.
If you have any questions about your legal options and collecting compensation, we can help. We can talk to your insurer to see if it will cover some or all of your losses and, if so, try to negotiate a settlement.
Birmingham Hit and Run Accident Lawyer Near Me 877-562-0000
Deadline for Filing an Alabama Personal Injury Lawsuit
Per Alabama Code § 6-2-38, the statute of limitations in Alabama for a personal injury lawsuit is two years after the accident’s date.
If you were injured in a hit-and-run accident and are considering legal action, rest assured that an attorney can track your deadlines and submit documentation for you.
Filing on time can give you leverage over the insurance company and helps to ensure that your injuries can’t be called into question. However, it may also help you to speak with a Birmingham hit-and-run accident lawyer early on in the process, as they can gather time-sensitive information such as forensic evidence that may bolster your case.
Am I Eligible to File a Wrongful Death Action?
A wrongful death lawsuit can be filed by a personal representative of the decedent. According to Alabama Code § 6-5-410, the personal representative must file a wrongful death lawsuit within two years of the person’s passing.
What Damages Are Possible in an Alabama Wrongful Death Case?
In most states, surviving family members are entitled to pursue compensatory damages for losses resulting from the death of their loved one. However, Alabama awards only punitive damages for a defendant’s wrongdoing.
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How do You Determine Liability in a Birmingham Hit-and-Run Accident?
One of the primary jobs of a personal injury attorney is to provide evidence of the other driver’s negligence to prove they are liable for your losses. Proving negligence requires we establish the following:
- Duty of care: Other drivers owe you a “duty of care” to act with enough caution to avoid harming you. Because this driver was in your vicinity, they owed you that care.
- Breach of duty: Your attorney must prove that the other driver’s actions breached their duty of care. Most breaches of duty are traffic violations, such as speeding or drunk driving.
- Causation: Your attorney must then prove that the other party’s negligent actions proximately caused the accident and your injuries.
- Damages: Finally, your attorney must prove that the accident and injuries caused you to suffer losses.
Because fleeing the scene after a collision is a crime, your lawyer may be able to show that the driver exhibited negligence per se. Drivers who are in a collision are obligated to stop, so leaving the scene is a crime that establishes negligence.
What to Do at the Scene of a Hit-and-Run Accident
It is important that you know what to do after a hit-and-run to protect yourself and your finances.
- Do not follow the driver. There are many reasons they might have left the scene and they could be a danger to you or others in the area.
- Call the police. Pull over to a safe place and call 9-1-1. Give the dispatcher as much information as possible, including the make and model and color of the car, the license plate, and the direction the driver was headed.
- Get medical attention. Your health is your priority. Make sure you are examined for injuries you may not notice right away. Continue to follow your doctor’s instructions after the initial visit or risk hurting yourself and your case.
- Do not post on social media. Make sure that anything you communicate about your accident is kept between you and your physician, the authorities handling your case, trusted family members, and your legal team. The wrong kind of attention on your accident can give insurers or defending attorneys license to question your claim.
How do We Find the Driver?
If you’ve been in a hit-and-run accident, the police will investigate the incident and attempt to locate the driver. For example, they may interview witnesses who noted the make and model of the vehicle or license plate number.
Police can also visit homes or businesses near the accident scene. Someone might be able to identify the driver from video footage or recognize their vehicle. If nobody witnessed the accident, the police could use social media and local television to ask the public for tips leading to the person who fled the scene.
In addition to traffic cameras, personal and business surveillance systems sometimes record car accidents and crimes. This can allow police to collect information about the suspect and their vehicle.
Consult with a Birmingham Hit-and-Run Lawyer Today
As a victim, you should not have to handle your hit-and-run alone. Cory Watson Attorneys can take over your case and pursue compensation on your behalf so you can focus on your recovery and reclaim your life. Please contact us online or call for a free case evaluation.