Victim of Police misconduct? Click here

hit_and_run_in_Virginia.jpg

Virginia law is clear on its requirements for motorists to stop after most vehicle accidents. Sadly, many drivers intentionally and unintentionally fail to stop, leaving victims in a state of compensation limbo. Fortunately, the services of an experienced car accident attorney can go a long way when it’s time to seek compensation for a hit and run in Virginia.

If you are ever involved in a hit-and-run accident, following the steps below can help keep you from further danger. Doing so can also help you as you go through the process of seeking compensation.

Stay Calm and Assess the Situation

First, refrain from panicking, and make sure to look around in all directions. It’s important to identify and assess any continuing danger and take appropriate action if possible. Such action may include moving your vehicle to a safe place.

Check for Injuries and Call Emergency Services

You’ll also want to check for injuries after a hit and run in Virginia. If you or your passengers are injured, you should try to prevent exacerbating your injuries if possible and call emergency services. Keep in mind, too, that many injuries may seem minor at first glance but need further examination to determine their true seriousness.

Gather Information About the Incident and the Other vehicle

The more fresh information and evidence you can gather from the accident scene, the better for your compensation claim. You should first jot down anything you remember about the other vehicle, including its make, model, color, plates, and any other identifying markers.

You should also try to gather:

  • Photos or video footage from many angles
  • Witness contact information and statements
  • Information related to the driver’s course of travel

Also, look around and take note of any businesses, residences, or traffic infrastructure that might have surveillance cameras. However, remember to never put yourself or others at risk while trying to collect evidence. Safety should always be your top priority.

Notify Your Insurer

If you have underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage, you should notify your insurer as soon as possible after your accident, especially in cases where the hit-and-run driver is never found. After informing an insurer of the accident, it’s common for most claimants to allow their attorneys to handle all communications with the insurance company.

File a Police Report

In Virginia, a police report must be filed for car crashes resulting in bodily injury, death, or visible damage of $1,500 or more. When you file your compensation claim, this report will be used as evidence of liability and accepted as an official document.

For this reason, watching what you say to officers is important. Your words can be used against you in many ways.

Reach Out to a Hit-and-Run Attorney

A hit-and-run attorney will be instrumental in helping you take full advantage of your compensation claim. They will ensure that no reasonable compensation is left behind or reduced below what it should be.

A lot is at stake when you get injured. Putting your case in the hands of an experienced professional will give you the peace of mind that your affairs are well taken care of.

Understand Your Legal Rights

Ultimately, understanding your legal rights in hit-and-run situations is crucial to your ability to make decisions that will benefit you down the line. When you are the victim of negligence, you have the right to seek compensation for any economic and non-economic losses stemming from your car accident injuries, including:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Disfigurement
  • Loss of income
  • Medical bills

You also have the right to fair and good-faith treatment by the insurance company that’s handling your claim. If an insurer deals with you in bad faith, you can sue for damages.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Do I Have to Seek Compensation for a Hit-and-Run Accident?

In many cases, you have two years to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. Within this period, you must settle your insurance claims or file an actual lawsuit. Exceptions may apply for minors and in other cases.

What Happens if the Other Driver Is Never Found or Is Found but Does Not Have Enough or Any Insurance?

If the driver is never found or does not have insurance, your underinsured/uninsured motorist insurance coverage should kick in up to the policy limits. In cases where the driver is found but has insufficient insurance to cover your losses, you are now allowed to stack their liability and your underinsured insurance policies to cover your damages.

Why Do Drivers Flee Accident Scenes?

Most drivers understand that it is a crime to flee the scene of an accident. The media is replete with examples of people who have done so only to face severe consequences when caught. Nonetheless, hit-and-run accidents continue to occur for a variety of reasons. For instance, a driver might flee the scene because they:

  • Have no insurance
  • Have no license or registration
  • Have a warrant or are fleeing a crime
  • Are fleeing to prevent an increase in insurance premiums
  • Are driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol

In some cases, drivers may not even be aware that they have hit someone or something. Although intoxication is often a factor in these cases, honest mistakes are also sometimes the reason. However, an honest mistake never relieves someone of their obligation to compensate others for the losses they have caused.

Get Help With Your Hit-and-Run Case

Taking the correct steps after a hit-and-run accident can help keep you and your claim to compensation safe. Although hit-and-run cases can be challenging, with the aid of an experienced car accident lawyer, you can get the justice you deserve and the compensation you need to recover.

If you have been injured at work or through the negligence of another individual or entity, contact us at (804) 999-9999 or or use the form below to connect with our legal team. We will fight to get you the justice you deserve.