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A hit-and-run accident is when another driver causes an auto accident, and then that responsible driver leaves the scene of the crash without stopping, reporting the wreck to the police, or calling emergency medical services when necessary. After any incident on the road, drivers in Ohio are legally obligated to stop, call law enforcement, exchange insurance information, and it is wise to document all possible aspects of the crash. If you were involved in a crash and the other driver illegally left the scene, you may need help from a Columbus hit and run accident lawyer to recover damages for any injuries you have suffered. By contacting a well-practiced injury attorney, you give yourself a better chance of a successful recovery.
While most hit and run accidents in Columbus involve situations where there is a collision and the responsible driver leaves, there are many other situations where one negligent or reckless driver causes another motorist to take evasive action and either go off the road, or hit something off the road or another vehicle. Many drivers who leave the scene of an accident do so because they are afraid of the repercussions, do not have insurance, or are simply too scared in the moment to think about stopping as they should.
The biggest difference between a hit-and-run car crash and any other type of auto wreck involves proof. When someone is making a claim against another party who caused a hit-and-run accident, they are generally making a claim for damages through their own insurance company. If an injured party is unable to track down the reckless driver, then they must make a claim for uninsured motorist coverage to get fair compensation.
Drivers must prove that there was an impact or, if there was no impact to their vehicle, they have to have some sort of corroborating evidence to prove that the accident occurred in the manner in which they claim. Such corroborating evidence usually involves testimony from independent witnesses. However, it is difficult to collect adequate information when the responsible party leaves the scene. In these situations,your only choice for compensation may be making a claim to your own insurance carrier. Every case is unique and you may need the help from our hit-and-run accident lawyers in Columbus to help build your case.
While an attorney may not be able to track down the responsible party if there is no positive identification, a lawyer will help you understand your legal options and navigate the claims process with the insurance companies. However, if the person that caused the hit-and-run accident was identified and the police were able to find that person, then the attorney will investigate the charges brought against that person, the status of their case, and whether or not that person had insurance coverage.
The type of compensatory damages available in crash cases where the responsible driver leaves the scene are the same as in any other car wreck case. Injured drivers have general economic and noneconomic damages available to them. Depending on the facts of the specific case, punitive damages may be available from the operator if they can prove that they were reckless by causing the crash and leaving the scene of the accident.
There is no cap on economic damages such as medical bills, lost wages, and property damages. However, there is a cap on noneconomic damages, except in cases of wrongful death or permanent and substantial physical deformity. In certain cases, an injured driver may be able to recoup compensation designed to punish the driver who left the scene as a deterrent to further behavior of that type. These types of compensation are called punitive damages. Though they are not available in every case, our Columbus hit-and-run crash attorneys will help you understand your eligibility.
All drivers are supposed to pull over and stop after an accident to contact police, exchange insurance information, and ensure that evidence is preserved. However, not everybody follows these laws and many accidents are complicated by a driver leaving the scene. If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto-wreck and the other driver left the scene, our Columbus hit-and-run accident lawyers will help you understand your rights, negotiate with insurance companies, or litigate against a reckless driver if they have been caught. To learn more about your legal options to get compensation, call today and schedule an initial consultation.