Hit and Run Accidents
Close to 200,000 motor vehicle collisions involving property damage, injury, or death occur annually in Indiana, causing about $4 billion in damages. A significant percentage of these events are “hit and run” accidents, in which the driver of the car that caused the crash flees the scene. Car accident lawyer Steve Willsey can advise Indianapolis residents and other injured individuals who have been harmed by this deplorable behavior. Steve has been included in the Best Lawyers in America and the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, showing the care and zeal with which he represents his clients.
Indiana law requires motorists who are involved in an accident to stop, speak with the other driver, exchange license and registration information, and wait until law enforcement arrives. In situations in which not only property damage but also personal injuries are involved, a motorist involved in a crash must also provide reasonable assistance to those hurt in the accident. A driver’s failure to remain at the scene following a collision can result in harsh criminal penalties, including a felony conviction in cases involving serious injuries.Pursing Compensation Following a Hit and Run
Criminal penalties are useful in that they may serve as a deterrent to many who would otherwise be tempted to flee the scene of an accident. Unfortunately, a conviction does little to compensate an injured person who has been hurt by a hit and run driver. It is possible that a criminal court will order a driver to make some type of restitution to an injured individual, but this amount will probably not be full compensation and it may be difficult to collect.
There may be two main ways that an accident victim can seek compensation from a hit and run driver in civil court. The first way is to find the driver and file a negligence lawsuit against him or her. If the driver’s identity can be established through witnesses, surveillance footage, or other methods, he or she can be held liable if the four elements of a negligence lawsuit are met. This includes showing that the driver owed a duty of care to the injured person, that he or she breached this duty, that the accident resulted directly from the defendant’s negligence, and that the injured person incurred damages. If a successful negligence case is made, the injured person may seek compensation for forms of damages such as vehicle repairs, hospital bills, the costs of future treatment, lost salary and lost earning capacity, or pain and suffering.
Sometimes, a hit and run driver is never found, or, even if he or she is found, there may be inadequate insurance to cover the victim’s damages. In these situations, the injured person may pursue a claim against his or her uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance company. While it may seem like your insurance company would be “on your side,” most uninsured/underinsured motorist cases are adversarial in nature, with the insured individual having a burden to prove his or her case by a preponderance of the evidence.Discuss your Motor Vehicle Collision Claim with an Indianapolis Lawyer
If you have been injured or lost a loved one because of a hit and run accident, you need someone to represent your interests and help you fight for all that you are entitled to under the law. Personal injury and wrongful death attorney Steve Willsey has devoted his career to helping people in the Indianapolis area and elsewhere in Indiana who have been hurt by others’ negligence. He and his staff work hard to make sure that each case is treated with the care and attention that they would expect if they were the client. Cases are accepted on a contingency fee basis, so no legal fees are required upfront. Since we know that car accident victims are often in a financial predicament because of lost wages and medical bills, we will secure the accident report and help you negotiate a fair settlement on your property damage at no additional cost. To schedule a free appointment to discuss your case, call us at 888-783-2500 or contact us online. We serve all of Indiana, including Marion, Hancock, and Morgan Counties, and we can come to your home or hospital as needed.