A car accident is harrowing enough, but some unknowns can make it even scarier. Not only might you be dealing with invisible physical and emotional injuries, but if a hit-and-run driver caused the collision, you will also have concerns about how to get compensated for the harm.
Fortunately, our Greenville hit-and-run accident lawyer can help you through the process.
Attorney Angela Frazier and our team are ready to fight for your justice. Contact us about your hit-and-run accident case.
What Qualifies as a Hit-and-Run Accident?
A driver who does not remain at the scene after such an incident has committed a hit-and-run violation. The penalties for this offense can go up to 25 years in prison and fines of $25,000.
South Carolina requires a motorist who is a party to an accident that results in property damage, bodily injury or death to stop close to the scene. Drivers should get to a safe location, notify the authorities and wait for their arrival.
When Do You Need To Talk to a Hit-and-Run Accident Lawyer?
You may feel at a complete loss for what to do after a crash where the at-fault driver flees the scene. Our legal team helps you avoid mistakes that can disrupt your claim.
Receiving compensation for any claim requires you to provide convincing proof of your right to recover damages, whether to an insurance company or at trial. With a free case review from a hit-and-run accident attorney at Elliott Frazier Law, you can move quickly to avoid losing critical evidence or missing filing deadlines.
What Can You Do if Authorities Have Not Caught the Hit-and-Run Driver?
South Carolina requires drivers to have uninsured motorist coverage, which pays for your damages if the police cannot catch the at-fault party. Though the process should be straightforward, insurance companies save money and boost profits when they can pay out the lowest claims possible.
You can have your hit-and-run accident lawyer represent you before your insurer and present the evidence that helps you pursue maximum compensation. This assistance lets you focus on recovery instead of negotiating with the insurance company.
What Happens if the Authorities Catch the Hit-and-Run Driver?
Hopefully, law enforcement will be able to promptly apprehend the driver who fled the scene. However, the investigation could take weeks or months.
If the police catch the offender, they will prosecute the individual in criminal court. These proceedings only determine if the defendant committed a crime and the level of punishment the wrongdoer will face.
As an accident victim, it falls on you or your representative to pursue financial compensation in a civil case or settle out of court. You may be able to use facts from the criminal trial in your civil case, but the process can be complex, which is why the aid of a hit-and-run accident lawyer can be invaluable.
What Steps Should You Take After a Hit-and-Run Accident?
Ideally after an accident, the first step is to get to a safe location and assess your injuries if you can do so without harming yourself or the other person. You should also alert the authorities and other first responders who can medically care for all parties and secure the area.
Try to collect any evidence at the scene as well. Photos and videos can prove useful to your claim. Talk to witnesses to the incident and get their contact information. Obtain any details that you believe can help the police track down who the hit-and-run driver is.
You also need to report the incident to your insurance company and stick strictly to the facts. Avoid saying anything that gives the impression that you were at fault.
Further, it’s advisable to avoid speaking to insurance adjusters. They can reduce your claim by asking misleading questions and using your innocent answers against you. Instead, you should have a lawyer from our firm speak on your behalf so mistakes are minimized.
What Compensation Can You Get After a Hit-and-Run Accident?
In any personal injury case, you can receive payment for three types of damages:
- Economic damages cover specific expenses for things like property damage and medical bills. You can also receive compensation for time you missed from work and lost employment opportunities.
- Non-economic damages pay for losses that are difficult to quantify and do not have a specific bill. For example, mental anguish, pain and suffering, or loss of companionship are non-economic losses.
- Punitive damages involve payment to punish the offender for gross negligence. The payment is not to restore anything to you as the victim but serves as a lesson to the defendant and others.
Punitive damages are rare, but insurers and courts regularly cover economic and non-economic losses. Your hit-and-run accident lawyer helps calculate every last penny you should fight for.
Get Help From a Hit-and-Run Accident Attorney in Greenville
If you need assistance from a qualified hit-and-run accident lawyer, talk to Angela Frazier and our team at Elliott Frazier — Family, Personal Injury, & Car Accident Attorneys, LLC. We’ll schedule a free case review to help you understand your options and prepare you to fight for justice. Call 864.256.3553 or use our online form to ask our lawyer to evaluate your hit-and-run accident case.