The process of getting compensation after an auto accident is fairly straightforward, especially when the crash was caused by a single driver and it’s clear they were at fault. Getting a settlement check in those situations is a matter of contacting the other driver’s insurance company, explaining the situation, and either accepting the settlement offer they provide or getting legal representation if they deny money or refuse to offer more than a “lowball” settlement.
But what happens when the other driver is unknown because they fled the scene? Or when they’re too difficult to track down because they left without providing contact information? When there’s no driver or insurance company to sue, there’s no compensation, right? While it’s true that victims of hit-and-run accidents often face more roadblocks when it comes to getting the money they deserve, they aren’t completely out of luck.
Steps That Can Help You Get Paid When the Other Driver Leaves the Scene
It’s common for drivers to feel helpless when the people who hit them leave the crash scene. It can feel like they don’t care about your well-being and are just trying to avoid the consequences of an accident they caused. Fortunately, you still have options when it comes to getting compensation for your medical bills and lost wages.
After a hit-and-run crash, the following options may help you get the money you’re owed:
- Use your own insurance policy—Being hurt in a crash caused by a hit-and-run driver is similar to being involved in an accident caused by an uninsured driver. For that reason, we recommend drivers always purchase supplemental coverage in their auto insurance policy, such as collision insurance, uninsured motorist coverage, and MedPay coverage. All of these can help you pay for some of your post-crash medical bills and lost wages after a hit-and-run, even if the other driver is never found.
- Wait for police to apprehend the driver—Hit-and-run crashes in Oklahoma are serious crimes and can result in felony convictions. Police don’t let them slide, and they aggressively pursue such drivers long after the crash scenes are cleaned up. Be sure to provide police with all information you have about the other driver and their vehicle. If the driver is found, you can pursue compensation from their insurance policy or from them directly.
- Get a lawyer to assist with your claim—Having an experienced attorney on your side is essential for a hit-and-run accident claim. When you contact us, we’ll review all the available evidence and facts to either help locate the driver or find alternate ways to get you compensation for your medical bills and lost wages. It’s important to never give up on an auto accident claim, even a hit-and-run where the driver is unknown, without speaking to a lawyer.
Having a lawyer assisting with your claim from day one can help relieve the burden of the crash from you and your loved ones. With the Oklahoma auto accident attorneys at Parrish DeVaughn working on your behalf, you won’t have to worry about whether the right steps are being taken to protect your rights and find the at-fault driver. Instead, you’ll only need to concentrate on about getting better.
How Are Hit-and-Run Drivers Located?
Because hit-and-runs are serious offenses in Oklahoma, police take them seriously. They work hard to track down hit-and-run offenders by using the following information and techniques:
- Reviewing traffic or surveillance camera footage—Hit-and-run crashes that occur at intersections or in urban areas are often caught on camera. Footage of the crash can show identifying information of the vehicle or driver in question.
- Analyzing witness statements—The people who are injured in hit-and-run crashes may have foggy memories of what happened. Witnesses, on the other hand, can provide clear pictures of the drivers and vehicles, including makes, models, and even license plate numbers.
- Admissions of guilt—In some cases, hit-and-run drivers turn themselves in either due to guilt or due to being unaware that a serious crash occurred in the moment. Drivers who are heavily impaired, intoxicated, or suffering from cognitive conditions may not realize they were just involved in a crash until hours or days later.
The best thing to remember after a hit-and-run crash is to never give up. Although the odds may seem long in the immediate aftermath, many hit-and-run victims get a positive and satisfactory resolution to their claims, whether it’s by taking matters into their own hands with the help of an attorney or bringing a claim against the other driver after they’ve been located.
We’re Here to Help After a Hit-and-Run Crash
If you or someone you love was recently injured in a crash where the driver fled the scene, we want to help. We’ll do everything in our power to get you compensation. You were hurt because someone else was negligent, and now you deserve to get paid. Contact our car accident lawyers today for a free consultation and to find out how we can help.