Hit and Run Accident Attorneys
Hit and run accidents are more troublesome than the typical car crash. Along with potentially causing significant losses for the people involved, hit and run accidents may also leave victims with no immediately clear path forward. If you ever find yourself being a hit and run accident victim in Hartford County, partnering with a hit and run attorney should be your priority.
Securing compensation in a case where you may not know the identity of your assailant will be difficult. Continue reading this article to understand what you should do as you proceed with your case.
What to Do After a Hit and Run Accident
The odds of your case going anywhere will be significantly affected by your actions immediately following the accident. Learn more about the steps you must take by continuing below.
Examine Yourself for Injuries: Whether talking about a typical car accident or a hit and run situation, your priority must always be your safety. Check yourself for any injuries before you do anything else. You should also check any passengers with you to see if they may need medical assistance.
Call 911: Your next action should involve calling 911 and asking for emergency assistance. Tell the dispatcher to send an ambulance and police officers to the scene if someone in your vehicle is badly hurt. If you and your companions have managed to avoid serious injury, you can call for only police assistance instead.
Collect Evidence of Your Hit and Run Accident: Since your assailant has fled the scene of the accident, the best you can do is to collect evidence that can hopefully reveal their identity. Write down the plate number of the car if you can still remember it. You should also note the vehicle’s make, model, and color.
The accident scene can also reveal clues about the driver who hit you. Note your location in Glastonbury, Hartford, Simsbury, or wherever your accident occurred in Connecticut. Take pictures of the site in case there are clues that the police officers or your lawyers can pick up.
Do not forget about potential witnesses. Even if you do not have a good description of the car that hit you, someone nearby may give you more details. Take the time to speak to them because the information they provide could prove invaluable.
Talk to the Police Officers: Speak to the police officers as soon as they arrive at the scene. Share what you know about your assailant so the officers can begin their search. Ask for the police officers’ names and contact details before you leave the scene. Doing so will make it easier for you and your attorney to get in touch with them as the case progresses.
Consult with a Doctor: Car accidents are known for causing brain injuries that do not always present obvious symptoms. Therefore, you should find out immediately if your hit and run accident led to you developing a serious injury which would require the assistance of an attorney. Go to your doctor and undergo some exams to determine your current condition.
Hire a Hit and Run Attorney: Hit and run cases have many moving parts, and you may need to change your tactics quickly based on how things unfold. Make sure you develop an adaptable legal strategy by partnering with an experienced hit and run lawyer. Lean on their knowledge as you continue to navigate your tricky ordeal.
Connecticut Hit and Run Laws
The state of Connecticut clearly outlines what drivers are expected to do if they are involved in a car accident. According to Connecticut law, a driver who is “knowingly involved” in a car accident must stop at the scene. While there, the driver involved in the accident must assist the other parties if they need it.
Assistance in this context does not necessarily mean providing medical aid. The driver could call 911 and stay at the scene to ensure that the injured parties are not hurt any further.
In addition to providing assistance, the driver involved in the accident should also present their name, address, operator’s license, and registration number to the injured party. They must also share those important bits of information with any witnesses or police officers at the scene of the accident.
If the driver cannot share those details right after the accident, they must report what happened instead. They can give their information to any police officer or head down to the nearest precinct to file a formal report.
Connecticut drivers have no excuse if they decide to flee the scene of the accident. They may face considerable penalties based on the damage they caused. Drivers found guilty of a hit and run violation will receive a fine and a suspended license. The drivers may also go to prison. In cases where the victim died or suffered a serious physical injury, the offending driver may get a prison sentence ranging from two to twenty years.
Hit and Run Accident Statistics
Hit and run accidents are damaging and deadly. The numbers bear that out. Per this article from Connecticut by the Numbers, a total of 148 hit and run accidents involving at least one fatality occurred in the state from 2006 to 2016. It is a troubling statistic, and it speaks to how dangerous these incidents tend to be.
A recent study by ValuePenguin sheds more light on the dangers of hit and run accidents from a national perspective. After processing statistics for the entire country, the study tallied 16,936 fatal hit and run accidents from 2010 to 2019. Also, 2016 was the deadliest year for hit and run accidents. The study found 2,012 incidents that year that led to 2,082 deaths.
There were 16,936 fatal hit and run accidents from 2010 to 2019
What is even more troubling is the trend that has taken hold recently. While the number of fatal hit and run crashes hovered in the 1,300 to 1,550 range in the decade’s first half, the latter half has seen that number consistently above 1,700.
Being vigilant on the road is more important than ever. However, drivers must also own up to their responsibilities to prevent those tragic occurrences which could end up in a wrongful death claim.
Common Types of Hit and Run Accidents
Drivers may decide that fleeing the scene after causing an accident is preferable to facing the consequences of their violation. They may reach that decision because the underlying cause of the accident is similarly problematic.
Impaired driving can take on many forms. Intoxicated individuals may lose awareness of their surroundings, and their reaction time may suffer. That is a recipe for disaster for any would-be driver. A drunk driver may hit your vehicle and flee from the scene without fully comprehending what they did.
The person who crashed into your vehicle may also be distracted. For example, they may have been looking at their phone moments before the crash. A lack of sleep can also lead to a hit and run accident possibly involving a pedestrian. Pedestrians injured in a hit and run situation may need to reach out to an attorney.
Sometimes, a hit and run accident is the byproduct of malice more than anything else. A person may knowingly put others at risk with their driving style and decide to continue doing it. Even after hitting your vehicle, they may attempt to escape responsibility instead of facing it.
Accident Related to Carjacking
The driver who hit your vehicle may be driving a stolen vehicle. In their rush to get away with their act of thievery, they may accidentally hit your car and leave more wreckage in their wake.
How to Identify Hit and Run Drivers
It is getting harder for hit and run drivers to get away with their crimes. These days, police officers have more tools to track down these criminals.
Police officers can use traffic cam footage and videos recorded by nearby establishments to identify the offending drivers. They can also speak to witnesses who saw the accident. Important clues may emerge from the damage inflicted on your vehicle and the damage present on your assailant’s car.
The number of people working on your case can also lead to its faster resolution. Aside from the police officers, you and your personal injury lawyers can also get involved to speed things up.
The odds of hit and run drivers getting away with their crimes are lower in this day and age. Hopefully, it will only be a matter of time before they catch your assailant.
Types of Compensation in a Hit and Run Case
The plaintiff can recoup economic and non-economic damages in a typical car accident lawsuit. As you may already know, the economic damages will cover your medical bills, damaged property, and lost wages. The non-economic damages are supposed to compensate for unquantifiable losses such as mental anguish and lost opportunities.
Hit and run accident cases may differ because defendants must also pay punitive damages. The court may impose punitive damages in cases where drunk or reckless driving led to the accident.
Note too that hit and run victims can still recoup compensation even if the offending driver is not identified. Since uninsured motorist coverage is mandatory in Connecticut, a victim may file a claim with their insurer to receive compensation.
Proving Liability in a Connecticut Hit and Run Case
Proving liability in a hit and run case is similar to establishing fault in most other car accident cases. You need to prove that the other driver owed you a duty of care, that they breached it, and that the breach caused your injury.
When you are on the road, you owe a standard duty of care to your fellow motorists. You must follow traffic laws, acknowledge warnings, and drive safely.
Breaching that duty of care could involve speeding, ignoring the right of way laws, or driving drunk. If someone gets injured due to negligent actions, the party will be accountable.
The driver who fled from the scene will appear guilty. However, it will be an uphill climb for them to prove their innocence. Note that Connecticut is a modified comparative fault state. You will be allowed to claim damages if you do not share more than 51% of the blame for the accident. However, the courts may still reduce your compensation by the percentage of blame attributed to you.
Given how they dole out compensation in Connecticut personal injury cases, you and your hit and run lawyer will have a good shot at securing compensation.
How Long Will It take to Settle My Case?
How long will you wait to receive compensation in your hit and run accident case? Unfortunately, there is no one answer to that question.
Depending on the evidence available, the police may track down your assailant quickly, or it may take them a long time to get reliable leads. Therefore, it may be better for you to seek compensation from your insurer.
Report the hit and run accident as soon as possible so your insurer cannot cite your inaction as a reason to deny your claim. Request help from your attorney when you file that claim to ensure it contains all the necessary information.
After you file the claim, the insurer will verify it. That process may take several weeks or even months. While the lengthy processing time can be frustrating, enduring it may be necessary if you want compensation.
Hit and Run Law Firm
Contact our Connecticut auto accident lawyers if you were recently involved in a hit and run accident. We will contribute to the investigation and also negotiate with your insurer if doing so is necessary. Count on us to make the aftermath of your accident easier to deal with.
Looking for a “hit and run lawyer near me“? Some of the locations in and around Hartford County our hit and run law firm serves include: Hartford, Simsbury, Glastonbury, New Britain, Bridgeport, Waterbury, Danbury, Norwalk, Manchester, Windsor, Farmington, Windsor Locks, Wethersfield, Rocky Hill, Avon, Bloomfield, Bristol, Enfield, Newington, South Windsor, Southington, Plainville and more.