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Hit and Run Accident Lawyer

The state takes hit and run accidents seriously with criminal penalties for drivers who fail to stop after a crash. A driver involved in NC Auto accident that a death or injury must stop and remain at the scene until police complete their investigation

Hit & Run Auto Accidents Attorney

281,685 vehicle collisions resulting in 125,454 people injured and 1,442 killed. A serious injury can put you out of work while medical bills quickly pile up. The lack of a no-fault law in this state means that compensation must come from the party whose negligence caused the collision.  Suing the at-fault party may be a challenge when you are the victim of a North Carolina hit and run driver.

A hit and run happens more frequently than you might imagine. There were 138 victims of hit and run accidents in Durham County during first six months of last year. It’s not just the occupants of vehicles who North Carolina hit and run drivers put at risk. There are 3,000 pedestrians and 850 bicycle riders struck by motor vehicles in the state each year. You have an 85% chance of dying if the vehicle that hits you is traveling at 40 mph. Even if you survive, the costs associated with long-term medical care and rehabilitation could be financially devastating when the driver of the car that hit leaves the scene of the accident.

The legal advice and representation of an NC hit and run accident attorney at The Clauson Law Firm, PLLC, may help set your mind at ease by offering options for pursuing compensation after a hit and run accident. Our attorneys are committed to achieving the most favorable results possible by applying their in-depth knowledge of the law and years of experience helping the victims of hit and run accidents.

Not stopping after a Hit & Run is a crime

The state takes hit and run accidents seriously with criminal penalties for drivers who fail to stop after a crash. A driver involved in North Carolina motor vehicle accident that a death or injury must stop and remain at the scene until police complete their investigation. The driver may not leave until given permission by the police. Violating the law is a felony.

Simply stopping and remaining at the scene of an accident is not enough to satisfy the law as far as the obligations of the drivers. Drivers must call the police and also request medical assistance when someone has been injured. They must also exchange the following information with drivers and occupants of other vehicles:

  • Name and address.
  • Driver’s license number.
  • Plate number of the vehicle they drove.

The same information must be given to the owner of property damaged in the crash. When the damage is to a parked or unattended vehicle, a driver must attempt to locate the owner to report the accident and provide the information.

Why would drivers risk a criminal record by leaving the scene?

Drivers leaving the scene of an accident risk a criminal conviction, incarceration in state prison and a criminal record, yet the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety estimates that a hit and run accident happens every 43 seconds somewhere in the U.S.  Of course, it is possible that a driver may not realize that a collision with another vehicle or with a pedestrian or bicycle rider occurred. Likely reasons for a hit and run usually involve a driver attempting to avoid serious criminal charges, such as:

Drivers leaving the scene of an accident risk a criminal conviction, incarceration in state prison and a criminal record, yet the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety estimates that a hit and run accident happens every 43 seconds somewhere in the U.S.  Of course, it is possible that a driver may not realize that a collision with another vehicle or with a pedestrian or bicycle rider occurred. Likely reasons for a hit and run usually involve a driver attempting to avoid serious criminal charges, such as:

  • Driving with a suspended or revoked driver’s license.
  • Driving while intoxicated or impaired by drugs or alcohol.
  • Driving a stolen vehicle.
  • Driving without required insurance coverage.
  • Driving a stolen vehicle.

You cannot sue for damages unless the party causing the crash can be found. Your NC hit and run accident attorney may suggest making a claim against the uninsured motorist coverage of the automobile insurance you carry on your vehicle.

Filing an uninsured motorist claim

All vehicles registered in North Carolina must carry uninsured and underinsured motorist coverages in addition to bodily injury and property damage. Bodily injury and property damage pay claims filed against you when your negligence causes injuries or property damage to others. The minimum bodily injury coverage is $30,000 for injuries to one person and $60,000 per occurrence regardless of the number of people injured. Property damage coverage must be in the minimum amount of $25,000. You can and should purchase more than the minimum coverage.

If injured by a North Carolina hit and run driver who cannot be identified or does not have insurance, your attorney can file an uninsured motorist claim with the insurance company that issued your auto insurance policy. Your uninsured motorist coverage mirrors the policy limits of your bodily injury and property damage coverages.

It may be possible to file uninsured motorist claims against more than one policy. For example, a claim would first be filed with the insurance company insuring the vehicle you were in at the time of the accident. If you are named as an insured in a policy on another vehicle, your attorney may “stack” coverages by filing a claim with that insurer.

Gather information at the scene of a hit and run motor vehicle accident

If you or a loved one is injured in an accident with a hit and run driver, attempting to chase the other vehicle is dangerous. Instead, call 911 while remaining at the scene and write down as much as you can recall about the vehicle, including:

  • Make, model and year of the vehicle.
  • Color and any noticeable damage.
  • All or part of the license plate number.
  • A description of the other driver.
  • Names and contact information of any witnesses.

Take pictures of the scene, including the position of your vehicle and any damage to it.

Contact a Durham NC hit and run accident attorney

Although an uninsured motorist claim for injuries or property damage is filed with your own insurance company, expect it to put up a fight. Having an experienced North Carolina hit and run lawyer on your side to fight for you is essential even when the claim is against your own insurer. A NC hit and run accident attorney from The Clauson Law Firm, PLLC, gives you a dedicated advocate committed to aggressively pursuing your claim for compensation. Contact them today for a free consultation.

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