Image of a couple in a hit-and-run car accident.

Hit-and-Run: How it Works

Car accidents are an unfortunate and common occurrence. In the course of most adults’ lives, they will be involved in at least one accident. The worst of these accidents are hit-and-run incidents.

A hit-and-run is an accident in which one party, usually the one who initiated the accident, drives off before information can be exchanged between drivers. This violates the expectations of drivers’ behaviors included in their licensing which require them to stop after the accident occurs.

All drivers have duties to fulfill when they are involved in an auto accident. First, an uninjured driver is typically required by state law to alert emergency services if someone is injured. Some states may have additional expectations to fulfill. Additionally, if the accident is considered to be severe, drivers must also alert the police. The final requirement is that the people involved in the accident have to exchange contact and insurance information. 

Hit-and-run is a misdemeanor at a minimum with the possibility of being upgraded to a felony depending on the injuries suffered by the defendant. When a victim pursues a civil case against the hit-and-run driver, they are also usually entitled to punitive damages. 

In most civil lawsuits, the only compensation a victim is entitled to is their real damages. This includes injuries, damage to vehicles, loss of income, or other real damages dealt to the victim.

By comparison, punitive damages are for intentionally or recklessly causing harm, or acting in a particularly harmful manner. Punitive damages are designed to punish intentional wrongdoing on the part of the defendant. Punitive damages are possible because while the accident may have been caused by neglect, fleeing the scene of the crime is an intentional act that can justify punishment.

If you have been involved in a hit-and-run, you will need an experienced auto accident attorney. An experienced auto accident attorney can help you track down the hit-and-run perpetrator and pursue your civil case alongside any criminal charges. The best place to find an auto accident attorney is Attorney at Law.

At AAL, our nationwide network of attorneys and law firms allows us to match you with a local auto attorney in your area. Our partners have the resources, legal expertise, and experience to take on any opponent and emerge victorious. 

In addition to a distinguished case record, our partners excel in client care. The destruction of a vehicle can be devastating, and waiting for a verdict can take a serious toll. That’s why our partners work to keep you up to date and bring the litigation to a swift and positive conclusion. 

Don’t wait. Contact AAL today for a free, no-obligation consultation and begin your journey to justice. 

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