A hit-and-run accident happens when a driver in a traffic collision flees the crash scene. This makes filing a compensation claim tricky as you cannot bring a case against an unrecognized at-fault party. But all hope is not lost, as there are other options available for seeking compensation for the damages suffered.
The Greenville hit-and-run accident lawyers at Whalen Montalvo can guide you on the actions to take when seeking a settlement for a hit-and-run crash. So, don’t assume that nothing can be done and give up without trying to get justice. Call (864) 770-7710 to book a free consultation.
When you are involved in a hit-and-run accident and the authorities cannot identify the driver, it might look as if there’s no way you can get compensation, but this isn’t true. With the help of Whalen Montalvo, you can get the maximum settlement for your injuries and property damages.
Getting compensation for injuries from a hit-and-run accident is your right. Therefore, Whalen Montalvo will fight to get you the compensation you deserve.
Our team has years of experience helping victims of hit-and-run accidents. They provide an aggressive but compassionate representation and is dedicated to representing each client as their case demands.
Learn how Whalen Montalvo can help you by calling (864) 770-7710.
When a motor vehicle accident occurs, those involved have a fight-or-flight response. The former causes them to stay at the scene and deal with the outcome of the crash. However, the flight reaction causes a person to leave the accident scene due to fear of the legal consequences.
In Greenville, South Carolina, fleeing the scene of a car accident is a criminal offense, and it also has civil consequences. Anyone involved in a collision must stop at the scene or the nearest possible location where it is safe to do so and return to the crash site. Also, the person must render reasonable aid to anyone injured, contact the authorities, and provide their contact information when requested.
Doing anything outside of the above is a hit-and-run offense, and it can be charged as a felony or misdemeanor. In either case, the offender/at-fault driver faces jail time or a fine, and in some cases, both imprisonment and a fine. So, with such harsh penalties, why do people still flee from accident scenes?
A person may leave a crash site for one or more of the following reasons:
Although rare, a person may also leave a crash scene because they are unaware that an accident happened. This happens when the individual is distracted and not paying attention to the road. Whatever the case, an at-fault hit-and-run driver has to answer for their actions.
Due to the nature of a hit-and-run accident, your actions in the moments after the accident go a long way in identifying the hit-and-run driver. They can also impact the success of your compensation claim. So, what should you do after a hit-and-run accident in Greenville, SC?
The first thing to do is call 911 to report the accident and the fleeing driver. Calling 911 will get the police and EMS to the crash scene, and the responding officers will commence investigations immediately while the EMS checks for injuries. Also, the police will document the accident, and their report is a crucial piece of evidence in compensation claims.
After calling the police, you need to document as much evidence as possible about the accident. Using your cell phone or a notepad, write down the color of the car that fled, the make, model, possible year of production, and any other distinctive feature. If you see the driver, note their age and race.
You do not have to suffer the consequences of another person’s actions. Protect your rights by taking legal action against the person responsible for your injuries.
If you could not take note of these details, check for security, traffic, or dash cams that recorded the collision. Also, take pictures of the crash scene, damaged property, and injuries, and talk to anyone who witnessed the crash. Get their version of events and contact information if you need them to testify.
Allow the emergency medical responders to assess you on the scene, and don’t resist if they insist that you go to the hospital. Getting medical care helps you rule out delayed injuries. Also, the medical record is another crucial piece of evidence.
Proving liability in a hit-and-run accident is challenging and requires a hit-and-run accident attorney’s legal knowledge and experience. Also, most of the evidence needed in these cases is time-sensitive and must be acquired immediately after the crash. If you’re hospitalized and unable to take the three steps above, your lawyer will help you gather the proof needed to establish your claim.
Yes. After a hit-and-run accident, two options are available to you, and the one you take depends on whether the authorities locate the hit-and-run driver.
If the police found the hit-and-run driver or the person turned themselves in, you can file a compensation claim with their insurance company. Alternatively, you can file a personal injury lawsuit. Either way, the Greenville hit-and-run accident lawyers at Whalen Montalvo will request economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages cover monetary losses and are easy to calculate because each loss has a fixed dollar value. On the other hand, non-economic damages are harder to estimate because they cannot be traced to a fixed monetary value. Instead, insurance companies use a multiplier of between one and five to determine the amount.
Compensatory damages cover:
You may be entitled to punitive damages if you file a lawsuit. But first, you must show that the at-fault party’s behavior was willfully negligent or malicious. Insurance companies do not pay punitive damages, so you can’t ask for it in an insurance claim.
Under South Carolina law, insurance companies must provide uninsured motorist coverage alongside all automobile insurance sold in the state. When a hit-and-run accident happens, and the police cannot find the responsible driver, you can file a claim with your insurance provider under uninsured motorist coverage. However, you will only get paid up to the policy limit, so drivers are advised to buy additional coverage outside what the law stipulates.
Hit-and-run accident victims have many questions about their case, especially if the at-fault party is missing. Below are some of the frequently asked questions about hit-and-run accidents.
Can I Seek Compensation for a Hit-and-Run Accident?
Yes. You can file a compensation claim for your injuries and property damages with the at-fault party’s insurer. Alternatively, you can file a claim with your insurance company if you have uninsured motorist coverage.
How Long Do I Have to File a Hit-and-Run Accident Claim in Greenville, SC?
You have three years from the accident date to take legal action against the at-fault party. If you fail to do so within the time frame, you cannot take any action against the at-fault party.
How Much Is My Hit-and-Run Accident Case Worth?
There is no fixed amount for how much you can receive as compensation. Instead, factors like the severity of your injury, presence of a disability, amount of lost wages, property damage, etc., determine how much you get.
How Much Will I Pay My Hit-and-Run Accident Lawyer?
A hit-and-run accident attorney works on a contingency fee basis. This means they take a pre-agreed percentage of your compensation when they win your case.
How Long Will It Take to Conclude My Hit-and-Run Accident Case?
There is no fixed timeline for concluding a case. It could take weeks or months, and, in case of litigation, years to finish.
Evidence is needed to win hit-and-run accident cases. Whalen Montalvo will help you gather all the evidence to establish the other party’s fault and get a fair settlement. Also, if the police have yet to catch the driver, our attorneys will investigate to locate them.
Winning a hit-and-run accident case requires experience and an in-depth understanding of the law. So, it is better to get legal representation than handle the case yourself.
Additionally, our team will advise you on what to expect during the claims process, sit in on negotiations, and commence a lawsuit, if necessary. If your case needs expert witnesses, we will get their testimony and protect your rights.
Were you or a loved one involved in a hit-and-run accident? You can recover compensation from the party responsible. Call (864) 770-7710 to schedule a free case review.
Get the best legal representation possible. Give the Greenville, SC attorneys at Whalen Montalvo a call today at (864) 770-7710 or use our online form.