Hit-and-Run Accidents Attorney in Macon, Georgia
A hit-and-run can be traumatic for the victim, not only because of the injuries it may cause, but because the at-fault motorist often cannot be located. If you’ve been injured in a hit-and-run in Georgia and you do not know which steps to take in order to begin receiving the compensation that you need to heal, call us at The Law Office of George O. Haskell, IV in Macon. Our personal injury attorney George O. Haskell will work with you to review your options and collect evidence for your case; George will also aid you in speaking to insurance companies or presenting your case to the court.
First, it is essential to understand Georgia’s car accident laws, as well as laws specific to hit-and-run accidents, as well as the best steps to take after a hit-and-run accident.
Georgia Is a Fault Insurance State
Georgia follows the “modified comparative fault” system for awarding damages after car accidents. You can collect compensation from the other party’s insurance as long as you are less than 50% at fault for the accident. If you were found to be partially at fault, the amount of your damages would be lowered based on your degree of fault.
After a hit-and-run, you have a couple of options for filing a claim against the other driver. If the other driver is found, you can file a claim against their insurance or you can file a personal injury claim against them in court. For a personal injury claim to be successful, you need to prove negligence on the part of the hit-and-run driver that caused your injuries, which you should be able to do if you can collect evidence showing that the driver hit you and fled. This is because Georgia law mandates that you have a duty to stop if you are involved in an accident that causes damage to a vehicle or the death or injury of another driver.
Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Provision
If the driver cannot be located, you have the option to use your Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist coverage. This coverage is not required in Georgia, but is extremely useful, as it not only provides coverage when a motorist is found to be uninsured or underinsured, but can cover your damages if you are injured in a hit-and-run. You can purchase uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage (which pays for medical bills, pain and suffering costs, and lost wages) as well as property damage coverage (which pays for your vehicle repair).
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Steps to Take if You Were in a Hit-and-Run
Get to safety and do not pursue the driver fleeing the scene.
Pursuing a fleeing driver is dangerous, and may even lead to another accident, especially if you are injured and your vehicle is damaged. Get to a safe place as soon as possible.
Call an ambulance and notify the authorities.
Call the police to the scene, and call an ambulance if you suspect that you or someone else is injured. Even if you don’t feel hurt, make sure to get medical attention. You may not feel the effects of your injury yet, and certain injuries—such as head injuries—can seem mild but turn out to be serious if left untreated. You will also need evidence of your injuries to file a claim for damages later.
Take notes of as many details as possible.
If you can remember details about the other driver such as the make and model of their vehicle, vehicle particularities (dents, stickers, etc.), license plate number, and physical characteristics, write it down and tell the police. Talk to any witnesses and gather information from them if you can, and make sure to get their contact information. All of this can help the police locate the driver and make it easier for you to file a claim against their insurance or file a personal injury lawsuit against them.
Contact your insurance provider
You’ll want to notify your insurance company about the accident, especially if you are using your Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist coverage.
Hire an experienced personal injury attorney
Whether you need help making your case to your insurance company, the other driver’s insurance company, or to the court after a hit-and-run accident, you will need the help of a skilled car accident attorney. They know how insurance adjusters think, and can work with you to help you receive a fair payout; they are also valuable resources when it comes to helping you gather evidence and present that evidence to a judge if you file a personal injury lawsuit. Overall, hiring a personal injury attorney can make your journey to recovery after a hit-and-run accident shorter and easier.
Hit-and-Run Accidents Attorney Serving Macon, Georgia
If you need legal help after a hit-and-run accident, call us at The Law Office of George O. Haskell, IV, serving Macon-Bibb County, Georgia as well as the surrounding area including Milledgeville, Houston County, Warner Robins, Monticello, and Forsyth. Our attorney George O. Haskell is passionate about helping his clients receive the compensation that they deserve after being injured in hit-and-run accidents. Call today for an appointment.