Hit-and-Run Accident

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North Carolina law requires drivers to stop at the scene of every car accident. When the driver stops, you will obtain their insurance information, so you can file a claim against the policy if the other driver was at fault.

In some cases, the driver may not stop. However, if you have uninsured motorist coverage with your auto insurance, you can still receive financial compensation for your injuries. In addition, you can also continue to try to locate the responsible driver.

Horton Mendez Injury Attorneys can help you pursue financial compensation when you have suffered an injury in a hit-and-run car accident.

Why Do Motorists Leave the Scene of an Accident and Commit Hit-and-Runs?

There are many reasons why a motorist will leave the scene of an accident:

  • They do not have car insurance and are afraid of being personally liable.
  • They are afraid because there is an outstanding warrant for their arrest, or they do not legally have the right to be in the country.
  • The driver was working at the time of the accident, and they feared losing their job.
  • The motorist was intoxicated, and they knew that they would be arrested and charged.
  • The driver may have stopped but did not think that they had to stay.
  • The driver either had too much adrenaline after the accident or they were confused.
  • The motorist did not realize that there was an accident.

Regardless of why the motorist has left the scene, it is a crime under North Carolina law. It will be charged as a felony if there has been an injury in the crash, punishable by jail time if the driver is caught and charged. Nonetheless, a hit-and-run can make things more difficult for you.

You Can Get Compensation for a Hit-and-Run Accident

The fact that the driver has left the scene of the accident will not keep you from getting compensation for the crash. You will just be getting it from a different source.

Under North Carolina law, your auto insurance company will be legally required to offer uninsured motorist coverage for situations just like this. Hopefully, you have invested in adequate coverage under this part of your policy to pay your damages when you have suffered them.

Here, you will be filing a claim against your own insurance company, and they will be the ones who pay your claim. However, you should not mistake your insurance company for a friendly face. They are friendly when they are trying to sign you up and collect your premiums. They get unfriendly fast when they need to write a check to you, regardless of whether you have done anything wrong.

You will need to file a claim with your own insurance company and negotiate a settlement with them. Your insurance company will not willingly give you the full amount of money that you deserve.

Hit-and-Run Accident Investigations

In the meantime, law enforcement and the insurance company, in addition to you, may try to find the driver who was responsible for the accident. Although it may not be easy to find the motorist who fled, there are ways to track down the driver. It is difficult, but certainly not impossible. The police will already be investigating the accident as a potential crime, and that can be helpful. However, you also have an additional financial motivation to find the driver who was responsible for the accident.

Here are some ways that you can locate the driver who hit you and left the scene of your accident:

  • Hire a dedicated investigator to try to locate the driver.
  • Speak with other witnesses to the accident and ask whether they have any dashcam or video footage of the accident.
  • Speak with residents and businesses in the area to ask if they saw a car speeding away that matched the description of the vehicle involved in the accident.
  • Ask police investigations to check surveillance or traffic cameras nearby.
  • Post a message on social media asking if people saw the car nearby.

An investigator may be your best bet to find the responsible driver. They may even check with repair shops in the area or try to match paint samples. You have enough on your plate after the accident, and you may be unable to track down the driver yourself.

Damages in a Hit-and-Run Accident

Regardless of whose insurance you file your claim against, you are legally entitled to full damages up to the coverage limit when you can prove that the accident was someone else’s fault.

Your hit-and-run car accident damages can include the following:

  • The full cost of your medical care
  • Lost wages for time missed from work and a reduction in your earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering for your post-accident experience, including physical and emotional effects
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

Our attorneys will work to maximize your financial compensation when it comes time to negotiate your settlement.

Contact a Wilmington Hit-and-Run Accident Attorney Today

Call the attorneys at Horton Mendez right after you have suffered an injury in a car accident. We will provide you with determined and aggressive legal representation that seeks to recover the most money for your injuries. It costs you nothing to speak with us for an initial consultation, and you do not need to pay us unless you win. To schedule a time to speak with a lawyer, you can call us today at 910-405-7751 or message us online.

Car Accident Case FAQs

Can an insurance company try to blame me for a hit-and-run accident?

Never put it past an insurance company to do anything when it means they can get out of writing a check.

How long will my car accident claim take?

It is hard to say. Everything depends on whether the insurance company is being reasonable and trying to delay your claim.

Can I sue my own insurance company if they will not fully pay my claim?

Yes. You have a contract with your insurance company that they must follow.

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