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Hit & Run Accidents- hit and run lawsuit AND Compensation 

Folks, finally your question about ‘Hit & Run Accidents- hit and run lawsuit AND Compensation’ is finally answered and hopefully, after reading this article, you will be happy with all the information gained. According to current statistics, a hit-and-run accident occurs every minute in the united states. And data shows that hit-and-run accidents have risen by a whopping 45% in the last 4 years in the United Kingdom.

But the questions you could be asking yourself are: what should you do after a hit-and-run accident? will the police find you? what are the possible charges and penalties? what car insurance compensates hit-and-run accidents? should you hire a car accident attorney after a hit-and-run accident if you are at fault for the accident? 

And, finally, when will you be charged with a misdemeanor or felon? well, read on to find out! If you are in hurry, go through the contents of this article below and look at the sections that best interest you. Alright, here we go!

Page Contents

What is a hit-and-run car accident?

A hit-and-run car accident is an act of getting involved in a crash and the driver flees the accident scene without providing personal information and or rendering the required assistance. From the definition, a driver who fled the scene can be accused of a hit-and-run offense irrespective of causing the accident or not.

Hit-and-run accidents not only involve a collision with another vehicle but also with a pedestrian, motorcyclist, an object, or an animal. Following any collision crash, it is required by traffic laws that the drivers involved stay at the scene and help traffic officers to compile the accident report. You are also obligated to share information about yourself like name, address, contact number, car insurance information, and others.

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I committed a hit and run how long will it take for the police to find me?

It usually takes hours to days for traffic officers to locate and find the driver who committed a hit-and-run. This is only possible if the police are given your car’s number plate and other personal information. Without the required driver specifications, it could take weeks or months, or forever!

In the worst case, the at-fault driver that committed a hit-and-run can not be found by police just because the police could not get his/her personal data. In the USA, California and Texas have the highest number of hit-and-run accidents at 8 and 7 per billion miles per year. 

How many hit-and-run drivers get caught? According to current statistics, more than 90% of hit-and-run drivers are not found. Police usually successfully arrest at least 8-10% of these drivers. This implies that most cases of hit-and-run remain unsolved in the United States of America.


I committed a hit and run what to do?

One thing I learned through personal experiences is never to speak to the police if you really know you committed an offense. Traffic police officers are experienced enough and know exactly the questions they need to ask and trap you. Once you give that incriminating information to the police, not even the smartest attorney will save you.

The first thing you should do once you have committed a hit-and-run is to contact a criminal defense lawyer. Never turn yourself into the police unless you know the probable repercussions or unless you already have your lawyer at your side. In some states, the penalties, and charges for hit-and-run offenders is too severe a reason you may not maneuver them on your own.

If you are a victim of a hit-and-run accident, follow the same steps you would do for other car accidents. The most important steps are; to ensure your safety and of all other people involved in the accident, call the police and if possible get a copy of the car accident report, and call and inform your car insurance. Also do not forget to exchange personal information with other drivers and gather evidence like photos of the injuries and car damages or any accident scene videos if possible.

Every year, hundreds of thousands of people fall victim of a hit and run offenses and most of them end up losing a lot of money because car insurance companies deny them compensation due to lack of evidence. Also, other drivers are falsely accused of accidents they did not cause. 

To remedy such scenarios, install the following cameras and save yourself the trouble of hit-and-run accidents, and being falsely labeled the at-fault driver. Prove your innocence now.

Will police investigate a minor hit and run?

It is an offense to commit a hit-and-run accident. This implies that police will aggressively investigate any hit-and-run accident. It does not matter if there were injuries, car damages, or deaths. In some states, hit-and-run offenders are highly penalized. The only exception is when no significant damages or injuries occurred.

According to reports from AAA, more than 700,000 hit-and-run accidents a year are investigated by police in the united states of America. These accidents account for more than 1,500 deaths.


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How do police find hit-and-run drivers?

They are many ways police find hit-and-run drivers and these include the following:

  • Security and traffic cameras in the accident vicinity.
  • Statements from witnesses and bystanders.
  • Surveillance cameras and surveillance videos.
  • Searching in the vicinity of the accident for evidence of damaged vehicles.
  • If you installed dash cams or any other camera on your car, then the evidence will be right in the hands of the hit-and-run accident. I already shared my recommended dash cams earlier in this article.


What evidence is needed to convict a hit-and-run?

Some of the evidence needed to convict offenders of hit-and-run accidents are videos that could have been captured by cameras. Probably there is a camera installed in the opposite house or in the doorbell of a nearby house.

Alternatively, you can install these cameras on your car and record any driver actions. This will save you the hustle of moving from house to house, or door to door asking if their camera could have captured any accident footage. Below is what I recommend!

Penalty for hit and run no injuries

The are many penalties and charges that will be imposed on you once you commit a hit-and-run Offence. Different states impose different charges and also other states could make your life harder. 

Though not practiced in every state, the following are 7 charges and penalties you will most likely face if you committed a hit-and-run offense.

1. In hit-and-run accidents where there were deaths, you the offender will be charged with a felony. The penalties are $5,000 to $20,000 and a jail time of up to 15 years.

2. In cases where there were no deaths but other losses like injuries and property damages, the hit-and-run offender will be charged with a misdemeanor. You will pay a penalty of up to $5,000 and face jail time of up to 12 months. 

3. In addition to the above penalties and charges, your driving license could be revoked or suspended for a couple of months or forever.

4. In addition, your car insurance company could suspend your policy as a punishment for hit and run car accident.

5. Punitive damages. If a driver is sued for being the at-fault driver, and it is determined that the driver willingly or carelessly injured the plaintiff (complainant), the jury could impose punitive charges. For instance, the plaintiff could be awarded $150,000 as compensation and add on $10,000 as punitive damages. 

6. Trebble damages. For instance, if you are convicted of hit and run accident and the jury awards $20,000 as damages to the complainant. Some states allow the jury to treble the damages. You may be asked to pay $60,000 instead of $20,000.

7. Declared the at-fault driver. You may be tempted to leave the accident scene well knowing that the other driver was clearly the at-fault. To your surprise, if police officers arrived at the scene on which you already left, chances are you will be declared the at-fault driver.


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What is the difference between hit-and-run and leaving the scene of an accident?

Essentially, hit-and-run and leaving the car accident scene are the same. They are other exceptions where these two terms differ. Here are 3 ways you could escape charges of a hit-and-run accident.

1. If you had an accident in a place with a dead phone network. You are free to walk distances away from the scene to make phone calls and return minutes after.

2. You have been severely injured and you left the scene for urgent medical attention.

3. Another scenario is that you had an accident and stopped by and had a simple chat with another driver and accepted to leave. A few minutes after you have left the other driver’s hidden injuries showed up and may be lost consciousness. Your car accident attorney could help in arguing that way to reduce your penalties.

If you are currently battling car accident lawsuits, or you need a higher settlement/compensation from car insurance, you need to equip yourself with the necessary knowledge. Read any of the 2 books below.

Hit-and-run death charges

I already discussed this. But to re-echo, you will be charged with a felony if you committed a hit-and-run offense and unfortunately, there are deaths of people involved. For your information, felonies are cases that are punishable by death or imprisonment for more than a year.

In the USA, the 4 most felon cases are:

  • Violent crimes
  • Substance abuse
  • Sex crimes and
  • Aggravated theft.

Some of the penalties for felons include imprisonment for one year to a lifetime. You will also pay a fine of somewhere between $5,000 to $20,000. You may also have your driver’s license and car insurance coverage suspended or canceled.


How to beat a hit-and-run charge?

Yes, you can beat a hit-and-run charge, and for your information, I have already hinted at how to exactly do that. You must hire a car accident attorney to stand a chance. Here are ways you can beat a hit-and-run charge:

1. Prove you were not the driver. It is not a must that the driver is the owner of the car. Most hit-and-run accidents are traced down to the owner using the car’s number plates. In some cases, the owner is different from the driver.

2. No personal injuries and no car damage. If damages and injuries did not occur, then there is no case for hit and run. Evidence required to convict a person of hit and run includes pictures of injuries and car damages, car accident footage, witness statements, medical bills, etc.

3. Claim the incident was not a hit-and-run. I already explained how you are allowed to move away from the scene to catch a phone signal. You could use such excuses. 

4. Claim the offender was attending to an emergency. For instance, if you are a health worker or if you had a sick person to rush to the hospital and the accident resulted in no serious injuries.

5. Prove you were not aware of the accident. There are some accidents where the offender knows not he caused the accident. If you can get a way of putting across such an argument, it could probably save your day.

car accident investigation, hit and run investigation

How to find out if a hit and run was reported?

Hit-and-run drivers are often gotten through the following ways.

1. Witnesses. There could be people who were surprised the driver fled the scene instead of offering help. Such people could be willing to tell what happened in addition to revealing the car’s plate number, car color, model, etc.

2. Police. If you reported the accident, the traffic police will investigate the case and by chance should locate and identify the offender. Police have the resources and personnel to do the Job.

3. House-to-house investigations. There could be people who witnessed the accident but are not free to tell the facts in public. And sometimes, there is a slight chance the driver hid the car in the neighborhood.

4. Business. If the accident took place in business areas, chances are the accident was captured by surveillance cameras. Contact the required departments and see if they have any car accident footage.

5. Department of motor vehicles. If by chance you were able to find out the car’s license plate number, you will easily find out the driver or the owner of the car.

If the hit-and-run accident victim sued or reported the accident, you will be contacted by either the police, attorney, or the department of motor vehicles. Your car insurance company could also contact you to enquire more about the accident.

How long after a hit-and-run accident can you be charged?

How long after a hit-and-run accident can you be charged on many factors like:

1. Your state’s traffic laws. There are deadlines by which the complainant should have filed lawsuits. Your attorney has the best guidelines. 

2. Severity of injuries. The complainant should file his claim or sue the at-fault driver right after attaining the minimum medical improvement. You won’t know how much are your current and future medical bills.

3. Deaths. There is no deadline for suing the at-fault driver if there were deaths in the car accident.

4. How fast the at-fault driver is located and arrested? I already told you that more than 90% of hit-and-run accident cases remain unsolved because the driver is sometimes never found.


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Average Settlement for a Hit-and-Run Car Accident

Hit-and-run accidents usually attract higher charges, fines, damages, and sometimes treble charges. On top of those damages, the defendant (at-fault) driver will be asked to pay personal injury damages plus any cost to repair the damaged car. This implies higher amounts of money. 

According to a survey I conducted on reddit, almost 50 people responded, and here are the results. More than 90% agreed that the average settlement of hit-and-run accidents is somewhere between $10,000 to $2,000,000. 10% of the respondents gave a figure of less than $10,000. 

Who pays for damages in a hit-and-run?

Of course, the driver that fled the car accident scene is usually declared the at-fault driver in a hit-and-run accident. This very driver will be liable for any economic and non-economic losses incurred by the innocent driver. 

According to some reports, more than 90% of hit-and-run offenders have no insurance coverage. If the at-fault driver carries no insurance, the innocent driver will highly likely claim through their own insurance coverage. The innocent driver has another option of causing the salary or property of the at-fault driver garnished.


How Can I Sue a Person for a Hit-and-Run?

A driver who commits a hit-and-run commits an offense that is punished by law. A felon I already explained earlier in the article is a serious crime whereby the offender faces serious penalties or punishments including jail time as I already explained. 

If you are a victim of a hit and run, you better contact a personal injury lawyer right away. If you can not trace the at-fault driver, you will claim through your car insurance company. Own policies like collision or uninsured/underinsured coverages should be able to cover your losses. 

Claiming against your uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage is tricky and comes with so many issues. In the worst scenario, your own car insurance could hire a lawyer to defend the at-fault driver in a bid to deny or lower your settlement. 

In short, you should think about hiring an attorney right away following a hit-and-run accident. For some states, you should file a lawsuit within 2-3 years, and for others suing for a felon has no deadlines. You should consult an attorney to find out your state’s deadlines for filing lawsuits. Your personal injury lawyer should guide you through the whole legal process of filing lawsuits following a hit-and-run accident.


Hit and run lawyer

Both the plaintiff and the defendant need the services of hit-and-run lawyers since both parties have rights to protect and damages they are entitled to.

Hit and run lawyer California

Many lawyers specialize in personal injury cases in California. If you are looking for hit-and-run lawyers in California, try the following:

1. SAN JOSE PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEYS, Contact them at (408) 955-9000

2. Krasney Law. Contact them at (909) 506-2494

3. Demas Law Group. Tel- 916 571-0144

In summary, a hit-and-run is a motor accident in which one of the drivers involved flees away without sharing any information. The at-fault driver will face lawsuits in which he/she will be asked to pay compensation to the innocent driver.

Hopefully, you learned a lot from this article titled: Hit & Run Accidents- hit and run lawsuit AND Compensation