What to Do in a Hit and Run

Dec 29

Indiana law stipulates that any person who is involved in a motor vehicle accident must stop their vehicle at the scene of the crash or as close as possible without obstructing traffic. Generally, people must remain at the scene until they give their name, address, and registration number to any people involved in the accident and show their driver’s license. 

However, an accident resulting in injury to or death of another person means people must provide reasonable assistance to all people injured in the accident and immediately give notice of the accident to a local police department, the office of the county sheriff, or the nearest state police post, or a 911 telephone operator.

Unfortunately, some drivers fail to obey this law. Not only can these drivers face criminal penalties for leaving the scene of an accident, but they also leave injured victims in the lurch. People often do not know what to do following a hit and run or what their rights might be. 

If you suffered injuries in a hit and run, always discuss your situation with a car accident attorney who can help you identify your best options. 


Steps People Should Take After Car Accidents

People who have been involved in hit-and-run accidents understandably are dealing with a lot of confusion and fear about their situations. The unfortunate truth of the matter is that some people may be able to get away with committing hit-and-run offenses without ever being brought into custody.

It is important for all people involved in any kind of motor vehicle accident to take certain steps as soon as possible after a crash. Make sure you do all of the following:

  • Always stop at the scene of the crash or as close as possible
  • Call the local police or law enforcement agency to report the accident
  • Call for medical attention, even when nobody has visible injuries
  • Exchange names, addresses, and vehicle registration numbers with other parties
  • Seek medical attention, even if you are not sure if you were hurt
  • Contact a car accident lawyer


Criminal Cases vs. Civil Cases

When a person suffers injuries in a hit-and-run crash, they may be able to seek compensation from the negligent driver. The driver could also face criminal charges for leaving the scene of the crash, and people should understand that criminal cases operate very differently from civil ones.

When a negligent driver is apprehended by authorities, they will usually be charged with a hit-and-run crime. A prosecutor handling this case will have to prove the alleged offender’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, which is one of the highest possible standards to satisfy.

People who are filing injury claims have civil cases, and they will have to prove that another driver caused their injuries by a preponderance of the evidence. This is a much lower standard than criminal cases, as a person only needs to prove that a person “more likely than not” caused their injuries.

It is very important for people to understand that a person who avoids a conviction in a criminal case can still be found liable in a civil case. Even if the driver was not convicted or never found, you can still pursue compensation from any available sources through a civil claim. 

Never assume that because a driver was found and arrested, you will receive compensation. The criminal justice system will generally not provide close to what you need in financial recovery – if any at all. Always consult with a car accident lawyer about how you can seek what you deserve for your injuries and losses. 


Types of Hit-and-Run Injuries

The nature of the injuries people could suffer in hit-and-run crashes will always vary depending on multiple factors, such as the speed of a car, the location of a collision, and other factors. Some people might have treatable injuries, while other victims will be dealing with catastrophic or life-threatening injuries.

Some of the most common kinds of injuries people could sustain in these cases may include, but are not limited to:

  • Fractures or broken bones 
  • Closed head injuries 
  • Back injuries 
  • Leg injuries 
  • Neck injuries 
  • Internal injuries 
  • Skull fractures 
  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) 
  • Spinal cord injuries 
  • Permanent nerve injuries 
  • Amputations 
  • Paralysis 
  • Severe burn injuries 


Possible Hit-and-Run Compensation

Any person who suffers injuries in a hit-and-run accident could be dealing with a very lengthy road to recovery. Some people could be dealing with injuries that will have a lifelong impact.

The victims of hit-and-run accidents are often entitled to numerous kinds of compensatory damages. Such damages are usually divided into economic damages and noneconomic damages.

Economic damages relate to tangible costs that people deal with following their accidents. Noneconomic damages are more subjective and do not involve inherent financial amounts.

Economic damages could include:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Property damage

Noneconomic damages often involve:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Mental anguish
  • Permanent injuries

Your lawyer can seek compensation from another driver’s insurance company (if they were identified), your own uninsured motorist coverage, or other sources. Always ensure you have a professional determine the best course of action for maximum compensation and allow your attorney to handle the process.


Contact Our Experienced Hit-and-Run Lawyer in Indiana

Did you recently suffer serious injuries, or was your loved one killed in a hit-and-run accident in Indiana? It will be incredibly important for you to get in touch with Blackburn Romey as soon as possible so we can quickly begin helping you find a more desirable resolution to your case.

Tom Blackburn is licensed to practice law in state courts throughout Indiana as well as the United States Courts of Appeals Seventh Circuit, the Supreme Court of the United States of America, and the United States District Courts in the Northern and Southern districts of Indiana. The National Academy of Personal Injury Attorneys, Inc. named Chad Romey as one of the top 10 under 40 personal injury attorneys in Indiana. 

You can call (833) FOR-HELP or contact us online to set up a free consultation.

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