According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, hit-and-run accidents are on the rise. There were 737,100 hit-and-run crashes in 2015, and hit-and-run collisions caused 2,049 deaths in 2016, the highest number ever recorded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). On average, between 11 and 12% of car crashes each year are hit-and-runs, and these accidents account for six percent of all auto accident injuries and five percent of all traffic deaths. Trend data show hit-and-run accidents are continuing to account for a higher percentage of traffic fatalities overall every year.
Hit-and-run car accidents are especially dangerous to the injured victims left behind. In severe accidents, the injury victims are in no condition to call for help or help themselves, and it is often up to the negligent driver to stop and render aid or call for help. A hit-and-run driver does more than just escape personal responsibility; they put the lives of their victims at risk due from unnecessarily delayed medical treatment to receiving no medical care at all.
If you’ve been injured by a hit-and-run driver, don’t despair. You have options to hold the driver accountable or get financial assistance from your car insurance policy. The Atlanta auto accident attorneys at Durham Law Group can help. Our legal team includes lawyers from many different backgrounds, including former district attorneys and US attorneys, along with private practice lawyers with decades of experience handling car accident cases. We know the ways to locate hit-and-run drivers and bring them to justice or secure a full and fair amount of compensation from your insurance company.
The sooner you get an attorney working for you, the more likely you are to see justice and compensation in your case. Call Durham Law Group for immediate assistance after an Atlanta hit & run accident, and we’ll go to work right away seeing that you get the care and compensation you need and deserve.
Georgia law (Georgie Code 40-6-270) requires a motorist involved in an accident to immediately stop at the scene or return and remain on the scene to exchange information with the other driver and render aid or call 911. Violation of this law can be punished by up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine for a first offense. If the accident involved serious injury or death, the hit-and-run can be charged as a felony, with the driver subject to up to five years in jail.
If you or a loved one has been injured or worse in a hit-and-run car accident in Atlanta, the lawyers at Durham Law Group can help. If the driver cannot be located, we can bring a claim on your behalf with your uninsured motorist (UM) insurance policy. If you carry liability insurance as required by Georgia law, your policy includes UM coverage unless you specifically rejected it in writing. Georgia law requires all policies to include UM in at least the minimum 25/50/25 amounts, although you can carry larger amounts if your liability limits are higher. Although UM is meant to help people hit by uninsured drivers, this coverage also applies to hit-and-run accidents as well.
If your injuries are severe or your damages are extensive, don’t try to make a UM claim on your own. The insurance company may drag their feet in paying you or try to pay you far less than your claim is worth. With Durham Law Group on your side, our lawyers will make sure the insurer responds promptly and settles your claim for an appropriate amount. Our team is willing and able to go to court if necessary to get you the full amount of compensation you are owed under your policy. Contact the best hit-and-run attorney Atlanta has to offer, contact the Durham Law Group.
Another way our firm can help is by locating the driver and suing them personally or through their insurance company. It’s not that easy for a hit-and-run driver to hide, and there are many ways to track them down. There may be witnesses to the accident or people who saw the damaged vehicle later. The vehicle can be matched based on car parts left at the scene, and body shops can be notified to look for a recently damaged car. Traffic cameras and security cameras might also have caught images of the fleeing vehicle. Especially in felony cases, the local police might be eager to find the driver and prosecute them.
Our team works with the police or hires our own investigators and experts to locate the driver at fault and hold them fully accountable for their actions. They might have been scared or nervous and fled the scene out of panic, but that is no excuse for leaving another person in danger. Punitive damages might also be proper against a hit-and-run driver, and our lawyers put in the additional effort to secure a punitive damage award in appropriate cases. Punitive damages are meant to punish a driver for willful misconduct or behavior exhibiting an entire lack of care that shows a conscious indifference to the consequences of their actions. Juries can slap hit-and-run drivers with as much as $250,000 in punitive damages, or more if they were driving while intoxicated. Courts require plaintiffs to meet a higher standard when proving punitive damages, but our experienced legal team has the skills and dedication to meet the required burden of proof and hold hit-and-run drivers liable for their egregiously bad behavior.
If you or a loved one has been hurt by a hit-and-run driver in Atlanta as a pedestrian, bicyclist, or another driver in a car accident, call a hit-and-run accident attorney in Atlanta at Durham law Group for a free consultation at 404-845-3434. We’ll explain your options and go to work right away securing compensation for your medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, and other legal damages caused by a hit-and-run driver’s negligence.