Hit-and-run accidents can occur between cars on the highway or when a vehicle strikes a pedestrian. They can even happen when a motorist strikes an object like a parked car. When the driver causes the crash or injury and then flees the scene, victims can be left hurting and unsure of what to do next. They may need assistance paying medical bills and feel they have no one to blame.
These accidents can be hard to litigate when police cannot find the driver at fault. If you or someone you love has been injured in Arkansas and needs help understanding all your avenues for financial recovery, contact a Marion personal injury lawyer from Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi PLC. Our experienced legal team offers free consultations to discuss options such as filing insurance claims or pursuing a personal injury case if the driver is located.
What to Do After a Hit-and-Run Accident
Like any other accident, it is important to move your car to safety and remain as close to the scene as possible. If you are severely injured or your car cannot be driven out of traffic, then you should wait for assistance. There are legal duties that all drivers must perform, including staying at the scene and exchanging contact and insurance details. Drivers must also notify the police if someone is injured or killed, or if the damage is over $1000 (this is specific to Arkansas).
After an accident, you should take certain steps to protect yourself and support your insurance claims. In general, you should:
- Obtain the contact and insurance information of everyone involved in the crash.
- Take photographs of each car, its damages, license plate, and owner.
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Take photos of the traffic, road, and weather conditions.
- Record witness statements on your phone.
- Do not move any item that could be evidence.
- Accept medical attention at the scene and follow up with your doctor.
- Contact your insurance company immediately.
- Call a hit-and-run lawyer in Marion right away to understand your options.
When a driver leaves the scene of the accident, you should take some additional actions. Take note of which direction the car was driving and write down the license plate number. Record any description you can remember of the car and the driver and share that with the police. Ask witnesses for their recollections and if they have dashcam video of the accident.
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Recoverable Damages from a Marion Hit-and-Run Accident
Some accidents are minor, and a hit-and-run driver might flee because they think it was only a fender bender. That still leaves you will damage to your car and possible injuries. If the driver cannot be found, you must rely on your automotive insurance to pay for your losses. If the police are able to locate the driver who hit you, you can file a claim against their insurance or pursue a lawsuit for a potentially larger payout.
A skilled personal injury lawyer can guide you through calculating damages from your hit-and-run accident. You can seek two kinds of damages: economic and non-economic. Economic losses include things such as auto repair and hospital bills. Non-economic damages cover pain and suffering, as well as other intangible losses you experience.
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Some Common Examples of Damages in a Personal Injury Claim Include:
- Emergency transport expenses (ambulance or helicopter)
- ICU, ER, and surgery costs
- Pain and suffering
- Repair or replacement costs for your vehicle
- Mental anguish
- Scarring or disfigurement
- Loss of income
- Loss of consortium with your partner
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The attorneys at Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi PLC are experienced in negotiating with insurance providers to reach a settlement for the maximum compensation for your damages. They will handle the time-consuming and stressful work of securing what you need while you put your life back together. When necessary, our lawyers will aggressively litigate your personal injury lawsuit in court.
Discussing insurance settlements can take weeks, which can be frustrating. It can also cause an issue if you must sue to recover your losses. Arkansas has a three-year statute of limitations for filing personal injury lawsuits. Gathering evidence and finding the person at fault can take time, and you must act quickly so you do not lose your right to compensation.
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Reasons a Driver May Leave an Accident
Arkansas law requires all individuals involved in an accident to fulfill specific legal duties, which include staying at the scene and rendering aid, such as calling 911. They must also exchange contact and insurance information. If a driver leaves the scene without sharing their details, the state considers this a hit-and-run.
While most drivers recognize their duty to stay and sort out insurance details, there are many reasons why someone may drive away:
- No insurance
- Hit a pedestrian or bicyclist
- Invalid driver’s license
- Evading arrest
- Other legal trouble
- In the country illegally
- Intoxicated or on drugs
Leaving the scene of an accident will result in a hit-and-run charge, in addition to any other charges the person committed that led to the crash. They will face fines and possible imprisonment, plus the loss of their driving privileges. If they have insurance, their provider will likely raise their premiums or discontinue coverage.
Regardless of why a driver leaves an accident, you can pursue a claim against their insurance if they can be located. If the insurance company does not provide an adequate settlement for your injuries and damages, you could file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver. No matter how you seek financial compensation, a skilled hit-and-run lawyer can negotiate for you while you recover.
Speak with a Marion Hit-and-Run Attorney Today
The injuries and damages you suffer in a car crash can be painful and overwhelming. When the one who hurt you leaves, you may feel you have no way to get help. The skilled attorneys at Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi PLC are ready to listen to your story and explain your options.
We will connect you to a qualified hit-and-run attorney in Marion to find the person at fault and seek justice. Use our convenient online form to schedule your free consultation and speak with an attorney today.