When you are recovering from your injuries after a car accident, your worries about receiving the compensation you deserve are magnified if you were the victim of a hit and run accident. The reality is that you must identify the negligent driver and his insurance company to file a claim. However, there are ways to locate him and possible options for payment even if you are unable to do so.
How to Locate a Negligent Hit and Run Driver
While some hit and run drivers flee the scene because they do not have car insurance, others do this for a variety of other reasons that do not mean they had no insurance. For example, the driver could have been intoxicated or he may not have wanted more points on his driving record. The point is that you should not give up and assume that the driver cannot compensate you. With persistence, you may be able to locate him.
If you took the basic steps at your accident scene of contacting the police and obtaining contact information for witnesses, this will help. Here are ways to find the driver:
- Police. The police are more likely to investigate a hit and run accident when victims suffer injuries. They may be able to find the person with identifying information from you and witnesses.
- Contact witnesses. You cannot always rely on the police to conduct a thorough interview with witnesses. Contact witnesses yourself and obtain as much information and pictures as they can provide. An outraged bystander could have taken pictures or a video of your crash.
- Door to door. Go door to door to nearby businesses and homes to see if there were other witnesses who can provide details that are helpful in identifying the vehicle or driver.
- Businesses. Check with businesses near the accident scene as their surveillance camera could have taped the crash.
Where to Obtain Compensation After a Hit and Run Accident
Your options for receiving compensation for your injuries will depend on whether you or the police are able to locate the hit and run driver. Some possible avenues of compensation include the following:
- Driver. If you locate the negligent driver, you can hold him responsible for compensating you for any damages above the amount of his insurance coverage, if he has any. However, the practical drawback is that most people do not have sufficient cash and other assets to pay large compensation awards caused by an auto crash.
- Driver’s insurance company. You can make a claim with the negligent driver’s insurance company if you find him. Although the insurance adjuster may not argue much about the driver’s liability, you should be prepared for arguments about the extent of your injuries and the amount of compensation you deserve. You will need the assistance of an experienced car accident attorney to communicate with the adjuster and negotiate a fair settlement for you.
- Restitution in criminal case. Fleeing the scene of an accident is a misdemeanor crime. If the driver is located, he could be criminally prosecuted. As part of his sentence, you could request that he be ordered to pay your out-of-pocket expenses, like your medical expenses and lost wages.
- Your insurance company. You may decide to file a claim with your own auto insurance company for the repair of your vehicle whether or not you locate the hit and run driver. It could result in your vehicle being repaired more quickly. In addition, if you never locate the driver or he has insufficient or no insurance, you may need to file a claim with your uninsured or underinsured coverages if you purchased these coverages.
An experienced car accident attorney may have other ways to locate the hit and run driver and can help you pursue all possible sources of compensation. If a hit and run driver caused your crash contact us online or call us directly at 888.795.6262 to schedule a free consultation. Learn how we can help you locate the negligent driver and pursue your claims for compensation for your injuries.