Detroit Hit-and-Run Accident Lawyers
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If an at-fault driver hits you and flees the scene, the situation becomes complex immediately. You may be unsure about how to cover your losses. With the help of a Detroit hit-and-run accident lawyer, you can work to identify the driver and file a claim with their insurance company as well as your policy. A hit-and-run in Michigan is not the end. You will have options.
Our experienced Detroit car accident lawyers at Davis Injury Lawyers, PLLC, have helped countless victims of hit-and-run accidents. Call us today at (412) 281-2146 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation.
What is a Hit-and-Run Accident?
A hit-and-run accident occurs when a driver intentionally leaves the scene without stopping to provide contact and insurance information to the others involved. This may include a driver who hits a parked vehicle and flees without leaving a note with contact details.
Who Pays for Damages in a Hit-and-Run?
In hit-and-run cases, you can seek compensation from your no-fault insurance if you can’t find the other driver. However, if you find the other party, you can file a claim with their liability insurance for any damages you have more than your policy limits.
Michigan requires all drivers to have no-fault insurance. This coverage will pay for medical expenses, wage loss, replacement services, and damage to other people’s property in a car accident. No matter who causes the accident, your no-fault insurance will cover some of your losses.
No-fault benefits include Personal Injury Protection (PIP), which covers reasonably necessary medical expenses and up to 85% of your lost wages for up to three years. You must also have Property Protection (PPI), which will pay up to $1 million in damages that your car causes to another person’s property, such as a building, mailbox, or fence.
Additionally, you must have Residual Liability Insurance for Bodily Injury and Property Damage, which covers other people’s medical bills and car damage if you are at fault. You must have a minimum of $20,000 in bodily injury per person, $40,000 in bodily injury per accident, and $10,000 in property damage insurance.
What Damages Can I Recover after a Hit-and-Run?
After a hit-and-run accident, you can get compensation for 100% of your economic and non-economic damages. That means that all your losses will be covered.
Economic damages are quantifiable by out-of-pocket costs, such as property damage to your car and other belongings, medical bills, and lost wages.
Non-economic damages are subjective and more challenging to place a value on. They include things like pain and suffering and mental anguish. These damages are often valued according to a formula that considers the severity of your injuries, the length of time it takes you to recover, and the amount of your economic damages.
If a driver hit you and left the scene of the accident, then you may also be able to get punitive damages. These damages are not meant to compensate you for losses but to punish the other driver for wrongdoing. Failure to stop at an accident is a crime, so punitive damages may be available.
What to Do After a Hit and Run in Detroit
After a hit and run accident, you should take the following steps:
- Call 911 – You must call the police and file a report after most auto accidents, especially if it involves a crime like someone leaving the scene without stopping.
- Get Medical Treatment – You should go to the ER or see a doctor as soon as possible. This will establish the severity of your injuries and help support your car accident insurance claim.
- Take Pictures and Videos – You should take pictures of the scene and any cars involved. Make sure you include traffic signals, signs, or marks on the road.
- Gather Information – You should get the names and contact information of anyone involved in the accident and eyewitnesses. This will be essential when you try to track down the at-fault driver.
- Call a Detroit Hit and Run Lawyer – As soon as you’re able, call an attorney who can begin an investigation, find the at-fault driver, and help you file an insurance claim to obtain compensation.
How Do I Find the Other Driver?
It often takes an in-depth investigation to find the other driver in a hit-and-run accident. You will need to talk to eyewitnesses and review traffic camera footage or other surveillance videos that might be available.
If you know the license plate number of the car that hit you, or even part of it, as well as the make and model, then the police may be able to find the person who hit your car. The police will conduct an initial investigation to identify the person who fled the scene; however, they are not always successful.
It’s essential to work with a Detroit hit-and-run lawyer who has experience handling these cases and will diligently seek the wrongful party in your accident case.
Filing an Insurance Claim in Detroit
Filing an insurance claim after a hit-and-run accident can be complex. The insurance company will likely want to know as much as possible about the other party, but you may not know much. You should work with an attorney who can help you organize your information and present it to the insurance company effectively.
You can typically file an insurance claim with your policy online or over the phone. However, you may not want to do this right away. Although you should notify the insurance company, you should not settle your claim immediately. You will not know all your losses until you have talked to your doctors, returned to work, repaired your vehicle, or gotten estimates.
Your attorney can handle filing your claim for you and negotiate a fair settlement agreement. It’s essential to understand the actual value of your claim, including future costs that might arise. If your settlement does not cover all your damages, you cannot return to the insurance company and get more money later. Once you sign an agreement, you also relinquish your rights to file a lawsuit and seek more money.
How Long Do I Have to File a Claim?
If you are filing a claim with your no-fault insurance, you likely need to notify your insurance company within 24 to 48 hours that there has been a wreck. However, you actually have three years from the date of the crash to file a personal injury lawsuit. This might sound like a lot of time, but it can take significant time to find the at-fault driver and hold them accountable.
Is There a Hit-and-Run Lawyer Near Me?
Yes! The Detroit accident attorneys at Davis Injury Lawyers, PLLC, understand Michigan hit and run law and will use it to support your case. After a thorough investigation, we may be able to identify the at-fault driver and help you file a proper insurance claim.