Table of Contents
- What To Know About Hit-And-Run Car Accidents in Georgia
- The Impact of Hit-and-Run Accidents
- Financial Recovery for Injuries Due to Hit-and-Run
What You Need To Know About Hit-And-Run Car Accidents in Georgia
A record number of hit-and-run accident deaths are occurring nationwide, according to the American Automobile Association (AAA). Atlanta, in particular, is struggling with a large number of fatal pedestrian accidents caused by hit and run drivers.
Leaving the Scene of an Accident is a Crime in Georgia
O.C.G.A. § 40-6-270 requires drivers to stop and/or return to the scene of any accident resulting in property damage, and to render aid to any injured parties, even if that just means calling 911. Leaving the scene of an accident involving death or serious injury carries significant criminal penalties in Georgia and is punishable by up to 5 years in prison.
Why Hit-and-Run Drivers Flee the Scene of an Accident
There are many potential reasons why drivers choose to leave the scene of an auto accident in Georgia, with fear of being held accountable for their negligent actions being at the top of that list. Some of the negligent acts that are common amongst hit-and-run drivers include:
- Driving While Intoxicated on Drugs or Alcohol
- Texting While Driving
- Driving Without Insurance
- The Driver has an Outstanding Warrant
- The Driver’s License is Suspended
- The Vehicle the Driver was in is Stolen
- The Driver is an Illegal Alien Fearing Deportation
- There are Illegal Substances in the Vehicle
- The Vehicle is Owned by the Driver’s Employer
Regardless of why a hit-and-run driver chooses to flee the scene, the damages they may have inflicted on the victim can be life-altering. Hiring an experienced personal injury attorney who specializes in hit-and-run auto accidents can help hold them accountable for their actions.
There is a Chance the Driver Will Be Identified
In today’s connected world there will often be video surveillance camera evidence of hit-and-run collisions available in the immediate aftermath of the accident. This evidence will help police identify and locate the hit-and-run driver responsible for your injuries to hold them criminally responsible.
For the victims and their families, this type of evidence is also crucial to pursuing a civil claim to recover damages and compensation from the hit-and-run driver and/or their insurance company should they have coverage.
The Impact of Hit-and-Run Accidents
At Apolinsky & Associates LLC, we understand that in the event of a hit-and-run auto accident that resulted in death or serious injury it’s victims and their families who bear the true cost.
Permanent Catastrophic Injuries
Injuries resulting from hit-and-run car accidents in Georgia can make a lasting, permanent impact on the victim’s life. Catastrophic injuries we see as a result of hit-and-run accidents include:
- Broken Bones & Fractures
- Spinal Cord Injury Resulting in Paralysis
- Traumatic Brain Injuries
- Severe Burn Injuries
- Loss of Limb
- Serious Back/Disc/Neck Trauma
These types of injuries leave not only a lasting impact on the victim’s overall physical and mental health and quality of life, but can lead to catastrophic financial ruin.
When death occurs, families are left to wonder whether emergency medical care might have saved a loved one. And, while an estate would usually pursue a wrongful death claim against an at-fault driver, those victimized by a hit-and-run driver often feel as though they have nowhere to turn.
Both those dealing with wrongful death or catastrophic injury should consult an experienced hit and run accident lawyer in Atlanta. Preservation of evidence and a comprehensive understanding of a victim’s condition are both critical from the earliest stages.
Financial Recovery for Injuries Due to Hit-and-Run Auto Accidents in Georgia
Following a hit-and-run accident some of the biggest questions victims and their families have are:
- What compensation am I entitled to in a hit-and-run?
- Who is going to pay those damages?
What Compensation Am I Entitled to in a Hit-and-Run?
In Georgia, if you’re injured in a hit-and-run auto accident, you’re entitled to compensation for your injuries, as well as any property damage that may have occurred during the incident. Financial compensation recoverable in Georgia may include:
- Repairs or Replacement of Damaged Vehicle
- Medical Expenses Incurred
- Long-Term Disability Benefits
- Lost Income From Not Being Able to Work
- Pain, Suffering, and Mental Distress
- Rehabilitation or Long-Term Treatment Costs
- Loss of Quality of Life
Who Pays for Damages in a Hit-and-Run Accident?
Determining who will pay for financial damages following a Georgia hit-and-run accident largely hinges upon whether the driver can be identified and located.
File a Claim Against Driver’s Insurance (Driver is Identified)
If the driver can be located and it is determined that they have proper auto insurance coverage required by Georgia Law, the driver’s insurance company will try to settle the claim for as little financial compensation as possible.
If you hire an experienced auto accident attorney, your attorney will help you negotiate a claim with the driver’s insurance company for the full amount of your damages.
Potential Uninsured Motorist Insurance Claim (Driver is Not Identified)
In the event that the identity and location of the driver responsible for the hit-and-run accident cannot be determined, the responsibility to pay damages to the victim then becomes a question of whether or not the victim has Uninsured Motorist Coverage.
While its incumbent upon Georgia Drivers to carry a minimum bodily injury liability coverage in the amount of $25,000 per person, $50,000 per occurrence, paying for additional coverage against Uninsured Motorists is entirely optional (O.C.G.A. 33-7-11).
If the victim of the hit-and-run has Uninsured Motorist Coverage, a claim for damages can be filed with their own insurance company.
Enlist the Help of an Experienced Hit-and-Run Attorney
Navigating a civil suit to recover damages for injuries suffered in a Georgia hit-and-Run auto accident is a complex matter that is best served by having the help of a seasoned Hit-and-Run auto accident attorney.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a hit-and-run in Atlanta or anywhere in the state of Georgia, let Apolinsky & Associates and our 35+ years of civil litigation experience help you recover the compensation you deserve.
The foregoing answers are not legal advice and are merely a general overview. You are advised to consult a lawyer to address your specific situation regarding your situation. For more information or to inquire about a free consultation, contact the experienced Atlanta injury attorneys at Apolinsky & Associates at (404) 377-9191 or send us an email.