In most car accident cases, you would file a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company. However, when involved in a hit-and-run accident, you may be unable to identify the other driver involved because he or she fled the scene. The police may never be able to locate the other driver. This can leave you unsure about where to turn in these situations to pursue compensation for your injury and damages.
Below, learn more about what to do next after being injured by a hit-and-run driver and how our legal team at Sigman Janssen may be able to protect your claim for compensation. An initial consultation with us is 100 percent free.
Hit-and-Run Laws in Wisconsin
In Wisconsin, all drivers are legally required to stop their vehicles following a car accident. Fleeing the scene of an accident without exchanging information or offering help could lead to serious consequences if the crash resulted in property damage, injury or death.
Depending on the outcome of the crash, a hit and run driver could be charged with a misdemeanor or felony, subjected to fines, or be put in jail. If the car accident caused losses greater than $1,000, the police must be notified right away.
While hit-and-run laws may promote for criminal prosecution, they do not compensate victims who are left injured by drivers who fail to stop and take responsibility. That is why hiring a lawyer can be an important step.
Why Hit-and-Run Drivers Flee the Scene
There are some common reasons why drivers decide to flee the scene of an accident, and it often has to do with illegal activity. For instance, a driver may decide not to stop he or she:
- Is under the influence of alcohol or drugs and does not want to be charged with a DUI
- Is riding in a stolen vehicle or driving a vehicle without permission from the owner
- Has insufficient liability insurance coverage as mandated under Wisconsin law
- Is driving without a valid driver’s license or has a suspended license
- Has multiple traffic citations or violations
- Has an outstanding arrest warrant
What to Do After a Hit-and-Run Accident
There is a lot of important evidence to be found at the scene of a hit-and-run accident, even if the at-fault driver has fled. There are certain steps that you take could help preserve that evidence and protect your health as well as your potential legal claim for compensation. These steps include the following:
- Call 9-1-1 so a police report is on file – A police report will help show why the accident happened and that the other driver fled. Whether or not the at-fault driver is found, your insurance company or the other driver’s insurance company will need a copy of the report.
- Obtain immediate medical care – Even if you think your injury is not serious, a doctor will be able to assess the extent of it and provide a treatment plan. Some injuries to the neck and head may remain hidden upon initial impact but could get worse over time if left untreated.
- Exchange personal information – All Wisconsin drivers must provide their name and address, vehicle registration number, driver’s license number and provide reasonable aid to others that were involved in the accident.
- Document the location of the accident – If it is safe to do so, take pictures or video of the scene, resulting injuries and vehicle damage (dents or scrapes). It is also important to write down any details you remember about the at-fault driver’s vehicle, even a partial license plate number.
- Gather witnesses’ statements – Speak with anyone who may have seen the hit-and-run and obtain their contact details. He or she may be able to give you a description of the driver, make and model of the vehicle, and other identifying information.
Should you have a valid claim, a reputable Green Bar car accident lawyer from our firm is prepared to conduct a detailed investigation and help you gather the evidence needed to pursue full compensation.
Ways You Can Recover Compensation For Your Injury
Hit-and-run victims are often concerned about being able to obtain compensation to pay for mounting medical expenses and loss of income from not working while recovering. There are, however, several legal options to consider. Certain ways you could recover compensation for your injury are as follows:
- The at-fault driver’s insurer – If the police locate the other driver, you may be eligible to file a claim with his or her insurer, if the policy is valid.
- Your own insurer – If the at-fault driver is not found, or he or she is uninsured or underinsured, you could file a claim through your own insurer for uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage benefits. Based on the specifics of your policy, you may be able to recoup compensation for medical bills, other out-of-pocket costs, wage loss, and pain and suffering.
No Upfront Cost to Hire Us
At Sigman Janssen, we understand how difficult being involved in a hit-and-run accident can be. Drivers who cause a crash and then flee the scene are hoping to escape financial liability. We are prepared to help fight for your rights to receive the maximum compensation possible for your injury and damages.
There is no risk in contacting our firm to learn about your legal options and you are not obligated to retain our services. We charge no upfront fees. We are only paid if we get compensation for you.
Call (877) 888-5201 for help with your claim.