Southaven & Hernando Hit And Run Accident Lawyer

dozens of cars waiting at a red traffic light

Imagine being stopped at an intersection or driving to work, and suddenly being hit by another vehicle. As jarring as this incident is, the driver of the other car then speeds away. A hit and run accident adds literal insult to injury and leaves victims seriously hurt and bewildered. In some cases, the responsible driver causes fatal injuries. Although the criminal courts can punish the individual who left the scene if he or she is identified, the victim will have to face medical bills, lost wages, and other damages.

You deserve a law firm that understands what’s at stake in hit and run accidents, and that knows how to win the compensation needed to get your life back to normal. Trust the car accident attorney of Chatham Gilder Howell Pittman.

What Should You Do After A Hit And Run?

Drivers who have been in hit and run accidents are often hurt and, understandably, angry. You may want to chase the car that hit you or attempt to find the driver. Do not take this step. To begin with, this is the job of law enforcement. The driver may be armed or attempting to elude police. The fact is, you don’t know why the driver left or who that person is. Let the police do their job.

Also, you may have been injured during the accident. It’s even possible you suffered injuries you don’t know about. Your first priority is to get medical assistance and make a police report of the incident. Get to a safe place and call 911 to report the accident.

Leaving the scene to go find the responsible driver may also make it difficult to pursue a claim against either the driver or your own uninsured motorist (UM) coverage. Let the police come and make a report about the accident. There may also be witnesses at the scene who can give a statement to you or law enforcement, and you don’t want to risk losing them because you tried to find the driver. Stay near your vehicle, make a police report, and talk to any witnesses about what they saw. Be sure to get the contact information of everyone you speak with.

Write down as much as you can about the other vehicle. That includes the make, model, and color of the vehicle and any unusual features (such as a broken fender). If you happened to see the driver, make note of anything you can remember about his or her identity. If you see the tag record that information. Keep a record of this information but also pass along these details to the police.

You should also make notes about the accident. Write down the date, time, place, and weather conditions. Take pictures and video of your vehicle and the scene. Try to determine if there are any surveillance cameras in the area that may have captured the hit and run accident. Make a record of your injuries and update your notes as your medical situation progresses. Later, after seeing a doctor, you will want to obtain a copy of your medical records.

Lastly, reach out to a dedicated hit and run accident attorney, who can help with all of these steps and begin seeking compensation for you.

Holding The Hit and Run Driver Responsible

If the police are able to locate the driver, he or she will be facing some criminal penalties for leaving the scene of the accident. An attorney can help you demand compensation from the driver’s insurance company as well. You or your family may be able to seek the following damages, among others:

  • Medical bills, including for future treatments
  • Lost wages
  • Lost earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Decreased quality of life
  • Wrongful death damages, if the victim dies

Punitive damages may also be available, depending on the circumstances. These are designed to punish especially wrongful conduct. Although they are not as commonly awarded as the above (compensatory) damages, your attorney will seek them if possible.

Pursuing A Claim Through Your Insurance Policy

If you cannot locate the driver, you may be able to file a claim through your insurance company’s uninsured motorist (UM) policy. UM coverage is usually available where an at-fault driver does not have automobile insurance. However, when the driver flees from the scene of the accident, the UM policy treats that individual as uninsured.

Of course, this still means working with your insurance company. And just because you have a policy does not mean your insurer will readily pay, or pay an amount that is sufficient to cover your losses. Remember, insurance companies are businesses. The more claims they deny, and the less money they pay out, the higher their profits. Even though your UM coverage should pay for your damages, you may have to fight for it. That’s where we come in.

How Chatham Gilder Howell Pittman Will Work For You

When you retain our law firm, we get to work immediately to investigate the accident and obtain all information and records needed to build a case. Where possible, we will recover surveillance camera footage and other video or photographic evidence related to the accident. We will also speak with witnesses who may be able to provide useful information in tracking down the hit and run driver.

Whether it’s dealing with the hit and run driver’s insurance company or your own, we will aggressively negotiate a settlement amount that covers your losses. If the insurer refuses to make a reasonable offer, we are prepared to take your case to court. As part of litigation, we can bring in expert witnesses (such as accident reconstructionists) who can help explain how the accident happened and what your damages are.

Contact Our Southaven & Hernando Hit And Run Accident Attorney

Our firm will represent you from start to finish with the professionalism and compassion we would want if we have been in an accident. That’s the level of service you can expect from Chatham Gilder Howell Pittman. If you or a family member were involved in a hit and run accident, schedule your confidential consultation with us today.