Hit-and-run car accidents happen far too often. Sometimes, if a driver hits another vehicle, they flee the scene because they don’t have insurance. They may know that they can’t pass a breathalyzer test. Other times, they simply panic.
Philadelphia tops the charts in traffic-related mortality rates, but many cities have this problem. If you drive regularly, someone might hit your car and drive off at any time.
If that happens, you might not know the next logical move. You may have injuries and a badly damaged car. You may feel fright, confusion, and anxiety.
At this point, an experienced car accident lawyer can help you. Let’s talk about what they can do for you if you face this upsetting situation.
You Can Discuss Your Options
First, you should find a lawyer who does car accident cases and hit-and-run cases specifically. They will have the expertise you need. They can also help you if you’re feeling emotional and vulnerable after this event.
You can look around and see which lawyers have good reviews in your area. You can select one and visit their office, or you can do a Zoom call with them. You should pick a lawyer who’s not very far away if you must drive to see them or have someone else drive you.
When you get there, you can explain what happened in detail. They will have many questions. Explain the situation, and don’t embellish. Remember that they’ll investigate your story if they take your case, and they will learn if you left anything out or changed any details.
After you’ve told them what happened, they’ll say whether they think you have a case or not. If they feel you have a case and they can take you on, they will do so. You can sign documentation at that time.
You should also discuss your payment options. You’ll likely only want a car wreck lawyer who you can pay on a contingency basis. Other payment structures don’t make much sense in these situations.
They Can Find You a Doctor if You Need One
Your hit-and-run car accident lawyer can help you find a doctor if you need one. They will likely have recommendations since they’ve been through this before.
They can help you set up appointments if you need X-rays or an MRI. They will know the best surgeons if the wreck injured you and you need an operation.
They Can Start Investigating Your Case
Many times, car wreck lawyers have private investigators on their payroll. Sometimes, they use former law enforcement officers.
These individuals can make calls and do legwork that will help your case. They can help find any witnesses who saw what happened.
They can also take crash scene pictures. They can find any video evidence if it exists. They might locate cell phone footage, store cam footage, or traffic cam footage. They will review your car camera footage if you caught the accident on video.
The lawyer’s investigators can also contact the police on your behalf. They will find out whether the police caught the driver who fled the scene.
They usually do. If the hit-and-run accident happened in a city, there are likely cameras around. Even if the cops don’t find camera footage from the exact location where the crash occurred, they can scour nearby city blocks and find some that shows the car and driver who hit you.
They Can Represent You in Court
Next, your lawyer can represent you in court when you make your first appearance. If the cops found the other driver and you’re suing them, they will make an appearance as well, and they should have legal representation. Maybe they’ll have a public defender, or perhaps they’ll have a more reputable defense lawyer if they can afford one.
Your lawyer can conduct your courtroom business. They have the required background and expertise. They’ll pursue a civil action on your behalf. The hit-and-run driver will also likely face serious criminal charges since leaving an accident scene constitutes a felony in all fifty states.
They Can Negotiate a Settlement for You
Your lawyer can next negotiate a settlement for you. Maybe the other driver won’t willingly settle, but many times, they will. If they do, your lawyer can make sure you get the most money possible. They know how much they can request and how much they’ll likely get since they’ve presumably done this many times before.
If the other driver won’t settle, your lawyer can take your case to trial. This process might take days, weeks, or even months if extenuating circumstances exist. In the end, your lawyer can hopefully win the case for you. You’ll then pay them the agreed-upon amount from your winnings.
Your Lawyer Can Stand by Your Side While You Go Through This
Your attorney can also stand by your side while you go through this very challenging and exhausting process. You might feel emotionally and physically spent while you pick up the pieces following a hit-and-run accident. Some people can recover quickly, but others develop PTSD after something like this happens.
Your lawyer can set up counseling if you need it. They probably know therapists who help those who survive hit-and-run situations.
They can also help you with your work situation if you need that. Some bosses might not let you miss work while you’re recovering. Your lawyer can advise you if that’s the case.
It’s not easy getting past a hit-and-run accident, but you can do it with determination. You must use your inner strength and resolve, especially if you have serious injuries and a badly damaged car.
You can move on with your life once you get the money you deserve. You may never feel quite the same again, but at least you can pursue justice with a lawyer’s help. Only the right attorney can do that for you, so make sure you select one who seems both sympathetic and competent.