A driver who causes a collision with another vehicle or who hits a pedestrian should stop, see if anyone needs help and provide information to any investigating law enforcement personnel. However, some drivers are so careless or impaired that they add insult to injury by fleeing the scene of a collision. Sadly, hit-and-run collisions happen far too often. According to data from the federal National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly one out of every five pedestrian deaths are caused by hit-and-run drivers.
When hit-and-run drivers are identified, their act of fleeing the scene of a collision can result in criminal sanctions. Additionally, in the civil courts, fleeing the scene can be an aggravating factor that can support the assessment of punitive damages as punishment and to serve as a deterrent to keep others from repeating this conduct.
If you’ve been injured by a hit and run driver, please contact us for a free case evaluation.
WHAT HAPPENS IF THE HIT AND RUN DRIVER ISN’T FOUND?
When a driver flees the scene of a collision, the police investigate and work with prosecuting attorneys to determine the identity of the driver. Not all hit-and-run drivers are found, which makes it more challenging to obtain compensation.
In these “uninsured” situations, a victim of a hit-and-run collision may have insurance coverage available through his or her own automobile insurance. A minimal amount of underinsured motorist coverage is required as part of automobile insurance in North Carolina, South Carolina and many other states. In addition to underinsured motorist coverage, some insurance policies provide “medical payments coverage” or “personal injury protection” coverage to compensate for injuries regardless of who caused the collision.
All insurance policies that could potentially provide coverage for damages and injuries caused by a hit-and-run driver should be investigated. Unfortunately, many people do not consider the implications of the different types and amounts of automobile insurance they carry until after a collision. Many drivers realize only after a collision that they only had minimal coverage that may not adequately compensate them for severe injuries. If you are curious about what kind of insurance coverage you have, ask your insurance company for the declaration page that lists the types and amounts of insurance you have. And discuss with your insurance agent whether you have enough coverage for you and your family.
If you need help with your hit and run case, please contact us for a free case evaluation.
Auto & Truck Collision Resources
- Decode Your NC Crash Report (DMV-349)
North Carolina Consumer Information
- North Carolina Department of Insurance, “A Consumer’s Guide to Automobile Insurance”
- North Carolina Department of Insurance, “A Consumer’s Guide to Motorcycle Insurance”
- North Carolina Department of Insurance, “A Consumer’s Guide to Public Adjusters”
- North Carolina Department of Insurance, “North Carolina Teen Drivers”