What do you do if you are injured in a hit and run car accident? If you are an injury victim of a hit and run car accident in Georgia, you have a few options for obtaining compensation for your injuries.
Under Georgia law, drivers who are involved in vehicular accidents are required to stop at the seen of a car accident and render assistance to any injured persons and could be subject to criminal prosecution for failure to do so. Further, in a civil suit, that hit and run driver could be liable for punitive damages. Thus, when a person leave the scene of an accident, it is important to find that at-fault driver if you are the injured victim.
Drivers leave the scene of accidents for various reasons, including not having insurance or a driver’s license, being drunk, or just being afraid that they caused an accident. At any rate, such behavior is against the law and can be subject to both civil and criminal sanctions.
Finding the at-fault driver could be difficult or impossible, but when you are injured in a car accident, an experienced personal injury attorney would be able to assist you with investigating the identity of the hit and run driver. Interviewing eye-witnesses, making requests for records of 911 calls, and video footage are all options for finding the hit and run driver.
If you or your attorney successfully finds the at-fault driver, then you can seek compensation for your bodily injuries under the driver’s automobile insurance policy. Further, you can even ask for what is known as “punitive” damages, which are based on the at-fault driver’s bad conduct.
Punitive damages are different from compensatory damages, which are given to you to pay for medical bills and pain and suffering. That is, punitive damages can be awarded on top of compensatory damages solely on the basis of the at-fault or hit and run driver’s conduct. Under some circumstances in Georgia, courts have allowed punitive damages to be awarded even when the at-fault driver did not “hit and run” but instead left the scene before the police arrived.
If you are unsuccessful in finding the hit and run driver who caused the accident, you can try to recover for your bodily injuries under your own uninsured motorist policy or any other applicable insurance you may have. Thus, it is also important to maintain enough coverage under your uninsured or underinsured motorist policy to adequately compensate you if you are injured in a car accident.
To fully explore your options when you have been injured by a hit and run driver in Georgia, you should seek the advice of a qualified car accident attorney. Call us at 404-593-2620. We are happy to set up a consultation with an attorney for you at The Davis Injury Firm.
About the Author Betty Nguyen Davis is an Atlanta attorney who solely focuses her practice on plaintiff’s personal injury work. Betty is consistently recognized by her peers as a top attorney in Georgia by Super Lawyers and Georgia Trend and is highly recommended by her clients as a aggressive and persistent, yet caring and accessible attorney.