Originally published June 8, 2020.
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 left without providing contact information? These scenarios happen more often than you think, but you aren’t out of luck if they happen to you. Having an experienced Oklahoma car accident lawyer on your side can help you get fair compensation even if the at-fault driver flees the scene or fails to provide the information you need to file a claim.
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 like being involved in an accident caused by an uninsured driver. Thankfully, collision insurance, uninsured motorist coverage, and MedPay coverage 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—Police take hit-and-run accidents seriously, and they aggressively pursue such drivers long after the crash scenes are cleaned up. Be sure to provide the 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 alternative ways to get you compensation for your medical bills and lost wages.
Having a lawyer assisting with your claim from day one can help relieve the burden of the crash on 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 getting better.
How Are Hit-and-Run Drivers Located?
Oklahoma police 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 these crashes can show identifying information of the vehicles or drivers 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 clearer descriptions of the drivers and vehicles, potentially including their makes, models, or 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 until they’ve already left the scene. 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.
It’s important to never give up after a hit-and-run crash. Although the odds may seem long of identifying and finding the at-fault driver 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.