Hit and run accidents often lead to severe injuries for victims. Unfortunately, it can be difficult for hit and run victims to obtain the compensation they need after a crash. That is why the team at Price Petho & Associates P.L.L.C. is ready to stand by your side. Our Charlotte hit and run accident attorneys pledge to conduct a full investigation into the case so we can secure any compensation you may be entitled to.
Hit and run accidents can lead to devastating injuries
When we turn to data available from the North Carolina Department of Transportation, we can see that there were over 281,000 total traffic collisions reported across the state during the latest year. Out of these incidents, over 120,000 people were injured, and 1,142 people lost their lives. While we do not have exact statistics on how many hit and run accidents take place each year in North Carolina, we do know that these accidents happen regularly and that they can lead to severe injuries.
It is not uncommon for victims of hit and run accidents to sustain the following:
- Broken or dislocated bones
- Severe lacerations or puncture wounds
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Whiplash or other neck and back injuries
Each of these injuries will require medical care, and victims may not be able to work while they recover. With medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage to contend with, hit and run victims need to know where to turn for compensation.
Steps to take immediately following a Charlotte hit and run accident
The aftermath of a hit-and-run accident can be incredibly confusing, and those involved often do not know what to do. As we go through these steps, we hope that you never need to follow them. We do not want anyone to become the victim of a hit-and-run accident. However, if this does happen to you, these steps could help ensure you receive the compensation you are entitled to.
- Call 911: You need to dial 911 as soon as you get your vehicle to a safe location after a hit-and-run accident. The police and EMS officials need to come to the scene of the incident. Additionally, it is the responsibility of law enforcement officials to track down the hit and run drivers. It can be tempting to try to follow a driver who flees the scene of an accident, but this will put even more people in danger.
- Seek immediate medical care: All hit and run accident victims need to seek immediate medical care. The signs and symptoms of many vehicle accident injuries do not appear until hours or even days following an incident, but every crash victim needs to be evaluated by a doctor soon after the incident occurs. This ensures crash victims’ well-being while also establishing a direct link between the injuries and the crash.
- Take notes: Memories began to fade very quickly after car accidents occur, and we always recommend that hit and run victims write down as much as they remember. This can include a description of the vehicle they were hit by and a description of the driver or passengers in the vehicle responsible for the hit and run.
- Gather much evidence as possible: Hit and run accident victims in Charlotte can begin gathering evidence if it is safe to do so at the scene of the crash. This can include getting the names and contact information of any eyewitnesses. This can also include using a smartphone or another type of camera to take photographs of vehicle damage, debris on the roadway, skid marks, traffic and weather conditions, injuries, and more.
- Report the incident to your insurance carrier: Your insurance carrier will need to be notified that you have been in an accident. You do not have to go into much detail, but you do need to let the insurance carrier know that the incident was a hit-and-run crash.
- Contact an attorney: You should contact a skilled vehicle accident attorney. Because these accidents are not always straightforward, having a Charlotte hit-and-run lawyer by your side will be an essential piece of the puzzle when it comes to securing compensation.
What can a hit and run victim do in NC?
Leaving the scene of an accident is a crime in North Carolina, but that does not help victims who are not sure how they will receive compensation for their losses. Securing compensation can be particularly difficult if a hit-run driver is not located by law enforcement.
All drivers in North Carolina are required to carry the following insurance coverage to remain legal on the roadway:
- Bodily injury liability coverage: $30,000 per person and $60,000 per accident
- Property damage liability coverage: 25,000
- Uninsured motorist bodily injury: $30,000 per person and $60,000 per accident
- Uninsured/Underinsured motorist property damage: $25,000
If a hit and run driver cannot be located, victims will need to rely on their uninsured motorist coverage to recover compensation for their losses.
If the hit and run driver is located and they have insurance, a claim can be made against their insurance carrier to recover compensation. If the at-fault driver does not have insurance or if their coverage limits are not sufficient, it may be necessary to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover the proper compensation.
How long do you have to file a hit and run accident lawsuit in Charlotte?
Victims of hit and run accidents in Charlotte need to be aware that they have a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit in these cases. The North Carolina personal injury statute of limitations is three years from the date the injury occurs. This means that hit and run accident victims have a three-year window with which to file a lawsuit against the alleged negligent driver.
However, the vast majority of hit and run accidents will be resolved through settlement with insurance carriers (including claims the victim may make with their own insurance carrier). It should be pointed out that insurance carriers have fairly strict reporting deadlines in these cases. Most insurance carriers in North Carolina require accidents to be reported within a day or two after the incident occurs. Failing to promptly report an accident could result in the carrier delaying or denying the claim.
Let us help you – call for a free consultation of your case today
If you or somebody you love has been injured in a hit and run accident, you may need to speak with an attorney as soon as possible. At Price Petho & Associates P.L.L.C., our team is going to conduct a complete investigation into your case so we can secure any compensation you need to get through this. This can include:
- Coverage of all crash-related medical bills
- Lost income if you are unable to work
- Any household out-of-pocket expenses you incur
- Property damage expenses
- Pain and suffering damages