If you don’t know how to pay for damages after a hit and run accident, a Dayton hit and run car accident attorney with the Fitch Law Firm may be able to help you. With no upfront cost to you, we will manage an investigation to find evidence in support of your case and file for compensation where it may be available.
After a hit and run car accident, the first thing you need to do is get checked out by a doctor, even if you feel okay. Reporting the incident to the police as soon as possible will help with your insurance claim and allow police to locate the person responsible for hitting your car and leaving the scene.
To discuss your unique case with a member of our team, the Fitch Law Firm will review your case for free and inform you of your rights as a hit and run accident victim and what legal alternatives you can take.
About Hit and Run Accidents
Hit and run accidents occur when a driver causes an accident and flees the scene without exchanging contact details or insurance information with other parties involved. Such accidents can take many forms, such as:
- A collision between two moving vehicles
- A collision between a vehicle and a pedestrian or a cyclist
- A collision between a vehicle and fixed objects, such as a parked vehicle
Under penalty, Ohio Revised Code Section 4549.02 prohibits anyone who causes an accident from leaving the scene of the accident without stopping to exchange contact and insurance information with the victim. Even if the victim or the owner of a vehicle that was struck cannot be identified, the nearest law enforcement officer should be notified of the accident.
For a free legal consultation with a hit and run accidents lawyer serving Dayton, call: (614) 545-3930Call Now »
Actions That Hurt Your Hit and Run Accident Case
It may be tempting after an accident to tell your side of the story in an attempt to find the person who hit your car and fled, but some actions hurt your ability to win your hit and run accident claim. Avoid the following actions if you want to increase your chances of winning a hit and run accident settlement:
Do Not Speak With an Insurance Adjuster Alone
Without discussing your case with a Dayton car accident lawyer first, you may end up paying out of your pocket for your hit and run damage. Insurance companies are known to offer significantly less for your losses than what is truly deserved.
Never Give The Insurance Adjuster Your Entire Medical History
If you ask your insurance company to cover medical expenses or missed wages, almost all insurance policies grant them the ability to immediately review your medical and employment records. So, it’s possible that your own insurer will issue you an Authorization for Release of Records form or something similar.
If you receive one of these forms, you must sign it in order for your agency to proceed with processing your claim but the information release should be carefully read. It’s a good idea to consult with one of our Dayton hit and run car accident attorneys to be aware of what you’re providing them access to.
Stop and Think Before Sharing Your Accident Story on Social Media
You may be inadvertently supplying the insurance company with information that devalues your claim. When investigating the accident, they may use tactics such as reviewing your social media accounts to gauge how hurt you appear or if you admitted to fault.
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Insurance Coverage for Hit and Run Accidents
Ohio is an at-fault state. This means that the responsibility for an accident—and payment for any damages—rest on the party or parties responsible for the accident. Using evidence such as dashcam footage, surveillance cameras, or eyewitness statements, if you are able to identify the driver responsible for your accident, you may be able to seek compensation for your damages from them.
If you are unable to identify the at-fault parties—or if they do not have insurance—then you may be able to use your Uninsured Motorist policy to cover your losses. Keep in mind that Uninsured Motorist coverage is optional in Ohio.
Hit and Run Accident Injuries
Hit and run accidents can be as serious as any other type of accident. They can cause victims to suffer severe injuries, property damage, and other losses. Injuries and damages that may occur in hit and run accidents include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- PTSD, or post-traumatic stress disorder
- Amputations or paralysis
- Internal bleeding or soft tissue damage
- Organ damage
- Broken bones
- Fractures, lacerations, and bruising
- Lost income and lost time from work
- Vehicle and property damage
You may be able to seek compensation for these and other losses by filing a claim with your insurance company or the responsible party’s insurance company. A Dayton hit and run car accident lawyer can help you determine which categories of damages you may have grounds to seek compensation for and how to pursue them when we represent you.
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If Denied UM/UIM Protection, Appeal Your Insurance Claim Decision
If you have attempted to defend yourself after being a victim of a hit and run accident, you may find yourself being denied payment through your insurance company after filing a claim. In the event that this occurs, you can appeal the decision, but to set yourself up for success, the following actions should be taken to prevent claim denials after a collision:
- Seek medical attention and follow the advice of your doctor.
- Keep all receipts and bills related to the accident.
- Provide the police with any information you have about the driver or the vehicle involved
If all steps have been taken, you will have to write an appeal letter and consider hiring a car accident lawyer that is equipped to find loopholes or ways to overturn their denial so that your claim is paid out.
Why People Flee Accident Scenes
Even though drivers are obligated to stop after causing an accident, the at-fault party who caused the accident may flee for several reasons, including the following:
- Illegal vehicle operation: someone operating a vehicle illegally or without insurance coverage may flee the scene of an accident out of fear of the consequences and the costs of liability.
- Negligent driving: driving while intoxicated, texting, or distracted driving can lead to financial liabilities on the part of the at-fault driver, as well as additional penalties such as fines or prison time, depending on the type and extent of damage caused. This is particularly true for serious accidents that cause extensive damage or a fatality.
- Natural reaction: a driver may flee an accident scene as a natural reaction or out of fear or confusion.
- Prior convictions or suspensions: If a driver was operating a vehicle with a suspended license or while on probation and caused an accident, he or she may flee the scene.
There can be other reasons for fleeing the scene of an accident as well. For example, an employee using a company vehicle for personal purposes or an underage driver may flee the scene of an accident rather than risk punishment or complications with their employer, their parents, or the law.
No matter the reason for leaving, hitting a vehicle and fleeing is illegal and punishable by law. With the help of an investigative hit and run collision lawyer in Dayton, OH, financial compensation will be sought from the party responsible for your damage.
Contact the Fitch Law Firm Today
Hit and run accidents can be difficult to handle, and they can be especially frustrating since you may have very little to go on after your accident. A Dayton hit and run car accident lawyer with the Fitch Law Firm can potentially investigate your case, collect evidence, and put together a claim for damages on your behalf.
We are experts at helping you in negotiations with the insurance company and will file a lawsuit against them if they refuse to compensate you fairly for your injuries. Be aware that Ohio Revised Code Section 2305.10 only gives you two years after an accident to bring forth a personal injury lawsuit. Failure to take legal action in time may result in a dismissed lawsuit.
Do not hesitate to reach out to The Fitch Law Firm for help today. A member of our team is standing by to offer you a free consultation on your case.
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