With its growing population, Collierville, Tennessee, has more pedestrians, cyclists, and cars on its roads. Busier streets and parking lots bring added risks for hit-and-run accidents, which can leave victims struggling to heal from physical injuries and struggling to collect a settlement to cover their losses. A Collierville personal injury lawyer from Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu, and Montesi PLC will see you through your struggle and set you on a path to financial recovery.
Collierville Car Accident Laws
Tennessee requires drivers involved in motor vehicle accidents to stop and return to the scene of the accident. Failure to do so can open the driver up to criminal hit-and-run charges.
After stopping, drivers are legally required to:
- Call for emergency help if a party has been injured.
- Move vehicles, if possible, so as not to obstruct traffic or create further danger.
- Exchange contact and insurance information with other parties involved in the crash.
- Report the accident to law enforcement. The only exception to these criteria is if property damage incurred is less than $50 and no one is hurt or killed.
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Frequency of Hit-and-Run Accidents
Criminal charges for leaving the scene of an accident depend on the severity of the damage caused in the crash but can include fines, license suspension, or prison time. If a person is killed in the accident, charges can be upgraded to vehicular manslaughter. Drivers found to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol also face harsher penalties.
Despite these consequences, hit-and-run accidents continue to occur. For its most recent period of data collection, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety (FTS) reports an increase in hit-and-run accidents. Over a recent ten-year period, 682,000 such accidents occurred on average per year.
Reasons Drivers Flee the Scene
Drivers who leave the scene of an accident do so to avoid facing the consequences. They may be driving under the influence or driving with a revoked or suspended license. They may be driving without insurance, have outstanding arrest warrants, or be transporting illegal goods.
Whatever the reason, leaving the scene of an accident is a crime. Victims are abandoned in their injured state and face a more complicated process of recovering the financial losses incurred by the accident and their injuries.
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Expert Legal Representation After a Hit-and-Run Is Essential
Tennessee is a fault state which means victims of car accidents usually collect a settlement by filing a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance. Sometimes, the at-fault driver must also pay using their own assets. Though they still face physical and emotional pain and stress, victims at least experience financial relief.
Drivers who flee the scene not only injure their victims but deprive them of that financial relief and justice. It is best to secure legal representation after any accident, especially so after a hit-and-run. A Collierville hit-and-run lawyer from Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu and Montesi PLC will investigate all avenues for compensation and fight for your interests.
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Like other businesses, insurance companies exist to make money. Your insurance company is no different. You have a policy to protect yourself, but your insurance company’s priority is to protect its own assets first.
With a lawyer managing your accident case, rest assured your insurance company will pay you what you are entitled to. Fine print that escapes or frustrates many policyholders, especially those under duress, will not confuse your Collierville hit-and-run lawyer.
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What to Do After Experiencing a Hit-and-Run Accident in Collierville
Hit-and-run accidents can happen anywhere, so the circumstances of your accident will affect your initial response.
Hit-and-run accidents often occur in parking lots and sometimes right in front of you. In these cases, observe and remember as much information as you can about the car that hit you, such as its make, model, color, and license plate number. If you can, snap a picture. Following that, call the police on the non-emergency line.
Then, report the accident and damage to your insurance company, but consult with a hit-and-run lawyer in Collierville before discussing a settlement, and do not make any statements insurance adjustors can perceive or later present as admissions of fault.
Accidents Causing Injury
Drivers operating their vehicles recklessly or driving under the influence, already increasing the likelihood of serious injury to victims, are often the culprits in hit-and-run accidents. If you sustain an injury in a hit-and-run, take these steps:
- Call 911 if possible. If it is not safe for you to move, allow a bystander to make the call.
- If you are able, take pictures and document any details you can remember about the car, driver, and incident overall. If you cannot move but are able to speak, ask witnesses to text or write down whatever information they can provide.
- Collect contact information from witnesses.
When you are safe, report the accident to your insurance carrier promptly. If you delay making this report, your carrier might pursue grounds to deny the claim.
After reporting the accident, do not engage in further communication with your insurance company until you have consulted with a Collierville hit-and-run accident attorney. Your lawyer will manage all further communication and navigate the complexities that come with hit-and-run events.
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A Hit-and-Run Accident Attorney in Collierville Will Fight for Your Best Interests
Motor vehicle accidents are upsetting in and of themselves. Victims of hit-and-run accidents experience further upset as they are denied the opportunity to see at-fault parties held responsible and have fewer avenues to pursue much-needed settlements to cover their injuries and financial losses.
A Collierville hit-and-run accident lawyer from Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu, and Montesi PLC will not leave you stranded with your injuries but will stand with you and fight for you. Visit our contact page to schedule a free consultation and start working toward recovery.