Hit and Run Accidents
A hit and run collision occurs when a driver is involved in an accident in which someone is injured, killed, or property is damaged, and that driver then flees the scene. Under Georgia law, drivers are required to stop and identify themselves and their vehicle and render reasonable assistance including transportation to a medical facility or making contact with emergency personnel. If a driver does not stop under these circumstances, a hit and run has occurred according to the state of Georgia. If you have been involved in a hit and run accident, you have the right to sue for the injuries you sustained during the accident.Types of Hit and Run Accidents in Georgia
In Georgia, you can be involved in three types of hit and run accidents. These are:
- Damage to property only. This means you were not injured, but your motor vehicle was damaged. You may not even have been in the motor vehicle at the time.
- Damage to property and/or injury occurs. This means your vehicle was damaged and you and/or your passengers were injured. If you were walking or biking at the time of the accident, and were injured, that still applies.
- Death occurred. Someone died as the result of the hit and run. Typically, you are allowed to sue when your loved one dies in a hit and run accident.
Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage will provide a source of compensation when the responsible driver cannot be found after a hit and run collision. The procedure can be murky and insurance companies are often hard to deal with, so it is a wise idea to reach out to an experienced and qualified personal injury attorney to guide you through the process.
Insurance companies are often suspicious of hit and run claims as being fabricated after the driver has injured him or herself or damaged his or her own car as a result of the driver's own negligence. This is why it is important to immediately notify police of the accident.
In Georgia, before a claim can be collected against an uninsured or underinsured insurance policy, the injured driver must show "due diligence" in tracking down the guilty party, even if the police cannot locate them.
- Speak to other people at the scene.
- Did anyone see the accident?
- Does anyone have a description of the car that struck you?
- Does anyone remember the make or model of the car? Perhaps the color?
- Did you or anyone else get a chance to see the license plate number? Use this information in your search to find the guilty person and to demonstrate "due diligence" in finding that person.
If the responsible party cannot be located, either by the police or by independent investigation, your attorney might have to file a complaint against your insurance carrier. A "John Doe" claim must first be made to be compliant with Georgia law.
This will require publishing notice of the impending claim in the local newspaper or other authorized location. Next, your lawyer will seek nominal damages against John Doe from the court to show that a judgment has been found in your favor. Once these nominal damages have been won, usually in the form of one dollar, an action may be brought against the insurance company.Contact a Lawyer at The Persons Firm About Your Hit and Run Accident