Atlanta Hit & Run Accident Lawyers
Managing Difficult Hit & Run Claims
When a driver leaves the scene of a crash before they can be identified or before they give proper insurance information, they have caused a hit and run accident. While this act might seem unthinkable, it happens countless times a day across the country, so you’re not alone if you are wondering if you can file a hit and run accident claim now.
To get to the bottom of the matter without stressing yourself out, team up with Goldstein Hayes & Lina, LLC in Atlanta. Our Atlanta hit & run accident attorneys are backed by 75+ years of combined experience managing complex injury claims, including hit and run accident cases. Rely on our insight and counsel today.
On This Page:
- Why Hit & Runs Happen
- When You Can Sue After a Hit & Run
- How to Report a Hit and Run Accident
- Recovering Compensation
- Punitive Damages for Hit & Run Accidents
- Is Leaving the Scene of the Accident a Crime?
- Hire Our Team of Experts Today
You won’t know exactly why the driver who hit you fled the scene if they are never identified. But many hit and runs happen for two reasons: the driver who caused it either doesn’t have insurance or is driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Rather than risk getting in legal trouble, they flee.
Suing a hit and run driver is obviously difficult if you do not know who they are. However, a claim can be initiated against a “John Doe” defendant. This is why it is so important to call the police immediately if a driver leaves the scene of your car accident before they are identified.
When you call the police to report a hit and run accident, try to tell them the following:
- Vehicle’s make, model, and color
- Basic description of the driver
- What part of their car was damaged
- Direction they went when fleeing
When you report this information to the police, they will have a better chance of finding and apprehending the other driver. If they do, then you can sue them as you would after any other car accident. The criminal element of the case might or might not play into your claim because civil and criminal cases are distinctly separate.
If the other driver is never identified, then you can file a claim naming “John Doe” as a defendant. This does not mean you can’t get any compensation, though. You can use your uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) insurance policy to seek recovery. UM/UIM coverage is one of the most important coverages to have- it protects you when the adverse driver has insufficient coverage, no coverage, or in cases where the other driver is unknown.
UM/UIM insurance policies are usually optional add-ons to auto insurance policies, so you might not have one. If you do, then you use the policy provided by your insurance provider to make a recovery. As with any case, though, your insurance provider could refute your claim and complicate matters. Let us deal with them on your behalf.
Punitive damages are rare in the average car accident claim. For a hit and run accident, they could be more likely, but only if you were able to identify and file a claim against the other driver. The court might approve of punitive damages to penalize them for the criminal wrongdoing. But, again, this is rare, so you shouldn’t rely on getting this type of damage. We will do the most we can to secure as much compensation in your name, though, even if punitive damages remain unlikely.
Yes! In fact, Georgia law views leaving the scene of an accident as even more serious than a DUI offense. You can read more about these statutes in Georgia's state code § 40-6-270. Leaving the scene of a crash without following the laid out procedures, particularly if someone is injured, may result in felony charges. In cases where the hit and run driver is caught, the victim may be eligible for punitive damages.
Make the most of your hit and run accident claim by letting our hit & run attorneys in Atlanta handle it from start to finish. We have two offices in Atlanta for client convenience.
Truck Driver DUI: Wrongful Death $150 Million
Automobile Negligence: Products Liability $4.5 Million
Commercial Motor Vehicle Collision: Multiple Fractures $2.75 Million
Commercial Motor Vehicle Collision $2.75 Million
Automobile Negligence: Multiple Injuries $2.4 Million
Motor Vehicle Accident with Multiple Injuries $2.2 Million
Motor Vehicle Collision with Multiple Injuries $1.95 Million
Automobile Negligence: Herniated Disc $1.3 Million
Automobile Negligence: Multiple Fractures $1.2 Million
Motor Vehicle Collision with Lumbar Fusion $1.2 Million
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Mr. Hayes, Jessica and Alli have helped me with two cases in the past 3 years, and they have been so wonderful! The generosity and kindness of everyone at this practice are just great. I will always refer them to anyone that needs legal representation f”- Amanda S.
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75 Years of Combined Experience
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