Do I Need a Lawyer After a Hit and Run Accident?

Drivers in Louisiana are required to stop and remain at the scene of a car accident until they fulfill the duties required by law. Hit-and-run driving is defined in the Louisiana statutes as the intentional failure of a driver to stop at the accident scene to offer reasonable aid and provide his information to the other people involved in the accident. A driver can be fined and jailed for committing hit-and-run.

You may wonder what to do after a hit-and-run accident in Lafayette, LA. Do you need a lawyer after a hit-and-run accident? Can you recover compensation for your losses and injuries if a hit-and-run driver caused the crash?

Keep reading for the answers to these questions and much more about hit-and-run accidents in Lafayette, LA.

Do I Need a Lafayette Car Accident Lawyer After a Hit and Run Accident?

Do I Need a Lafayette Car Accident Lawyer After a Hit and Run Accident?

You are not required to hire a lawyer to file a claim for a hit-and-run accident. However, it is in your best interest to consult an experienced Lafayette car accident lawyer as soon as possible. The Louisiana statute of limitations limits your time to file a claim or lawsuit. Waiting too long to contact a lawyer could result in losing some or all of your legal rights to pursue a claim.

Hit-and-run accident claims can be confusing. You need to have a general understanding of insurance law and personal injury law to pursue a claim. Otherwise, your insurance company might undervalue or deny your claim without a justifiable reason.

A Lafayette hit-and-run accident lawyer handles all aspects of your case for you, so you don’t need to worry about what to do. 

A car accident attorney can help you with a hit-and-run claim by:

  • Independently investigating the cause of the hit-and-run accident
  • Monitoring the investigation by law enforcement officials
  • Gather evidence proving that you did not cause the collision
  • Verify insurance coverage and policy limits
  • Document your damages to determine how much your hit-and-run accident claim is worth
  • File insurance claims seeking compensation for damage
  • Negotiate with the insurance company for a fair settlement
  • File a lawsuit against the hit-and-run driver, if they are identified, to seek a judgment for damages

The compensation you may receive for a hit-and-run accident depends on many factors. Your injuries directly impact the value of your case. However, insurance coverage and finding the hit-and-run driver also significantly impact your claims.

Can I Receive Compensation for a Hit and Run Accident if the Driver is Never Identified?

If you identify the hit-and-run driver, you can file a claim against their liability insurance coverage. You can also file a lawsuit seeking damages. However, if the hit-and-run driver is never located, your options for recovering damages may be limited unless you have uninsured motorist insurance coverage.

Uninsured motorist insurance is optional in Louisiana. State laws require all car insurance policies to include coverage for uninsured motorists unless the person declines coverage in writing. Therefore, unless you turned down uninsured motorist coverage, you should have it.

Uninsured motorist insurance compensates you for damages if an uninsured driver causes a car accident. However, it also applies to hit-and-run accidents. So, you can file a claim with your insurance provider for damages if the hit-and-run driver is never identified.

Even though you are dealing with your insurance company, you still should consider hiring a Lafayette hit-and-run accident lawyer because the claim may be denied or undervalued. The insurance adjuster treats your uninsured motorist claim like all other claims, which means they try to avoid liability for damages.

How Can an Attorney Help Me With an Uninsured Motorist Claim for My Hit and Run Accident?

Before recovering compensation for a hit-and-run accident, you must prove that the other driver caused the accident. Proving fault without the other vehicle or driver can be challenging. An attorney has the resources you don’t have to investigate the crash and gather evidence proving fault. The attorney can also hire accident reconstructionists and other experts to assist with your case as necessary.

An attorney also understands the value of your damages. The insurance company will try to undervalue your damages to lower the amount paid for your claim. Your lawyer correctly values the damages and aggressively negotiates for the full value of the damages.

The damages you receive for an uninsured motorist claim after a hit-and-run accident depend on several factors. 

However, most hit-and-run accident victims can seek economic and non-economic damages for:

The insurance company might try to shift the blame to you for the accident. If it can be proven that you were partially at fault for causing the crash, your compensation can be reduced under comparative fault laws. Insurance companies often use comparative fault to reduce their liability for damages.

What Should I Do After a Hit and Run Accident in Lafayette, LA?

Stop as close to the accident scene as possible. Immediately call 911 to report the crash and request police to investigate. Tell the emergency operator that the driver fled the scene and give them as much information about the vehicle as possible.

If your injuries permit you to do so, gather evidence from the accident scene. Make a video of the entire area and take photographs. Ask witnesses and bystanders for their names and contact information. If you notice cameras in the area, make a note to check with the owners for video of the accident.

Seek prompt medical treatment after an accident. Regardless of whether you believe you are injured, it is wise to be checked by a physician. You may experience delayed injury symptoms, or the stress of the accident could mask injury symptoms. Documenting your injuries with medical evidence is crucial to recover compensation for damages.

Contact an attorney as soon as possible to discuss your case. Since car accident lawyers in Lafayette offer free consultations, it does not cost anything to learn about your legal options after a hit-and-run accident.

Get Help from a Lafayette Hit and Run Accident Lawyer

Hit-and-run accident claims are complicated personal injury cases. But you don’t have to handle the claim alone. Call Kenny Habetz Injury Law at (337) 399-9000 for a free consultation with an experienced Lafayette hit-and-run accident attorney. We are here to help you when you need a trusted lawyer to fight for your rights after a car accident.