Like most places, it is illegal for Louisiana drivers to flee the scene of a car accident. Unfortunately, some motorists still drive away in an attempt to avoid responsibility. This can leave the hit and run accident victim upset and angry, and can jeopardize their chance of recovering maximum compensation from the liable party.
With help from a Lafayette hit and run accident lawyer, innocent victims of these crimes may stand a better chance at recovery. If you or a loved one suffered an injury in a hit and run accident, contact a Lafayette car accident lawyer to discuss your options.
Gathering Evidence in a Hit and Run Case
Several kinds of evidence can tremendously impact the outcome of a hit and run accident case. Testimony from the victim and any available eyewitnesses can be of paramount significance.
If the accident occurred near a place of business or a traffic light with a camera, an experienced attorney can acquire video footage of the crash from surveillance equipment. This is why contacting a lawyer early in your case may be important. Such footage may be overwritten or lost as time goes on.
Unfortunately, sometimes, there is a shortage of dependable evidence available. In these cases, recovering from the victim’s insurance company may be necessary. Seasoned legal representation can help plaintiffs navigate the complex wording of their insurance policies to argue for an appropriate payout. You can speak with a Lafayette personal injury lawyer to help you pursue compensation.
Laborde Earles injury was great for me they took care of me very fast and professional. If for any reason I need legal help they will be who I use.Client
Uninsured Motorist Insurance Coverage
When the offending driver cannot be found, the victim of a hit and run accident may need to recover compensation from their insurance carrier. In Louisiana, it is mandatory that auto insurance policies have uninsured motorist coverage, though the customer can reject this coverage in writing if they so choose.
Uninsured motorist coverage applies to accidents in which the offending driver does not have insurance, and the total amount of such coverage in a policy must equal or exceed the liability coverage in that policy. Sometimes, insurance companies may refuse to pay compensation or offer significantly less than the value of a victim’s damages.
In these cases, the best course of action is to retain a hit and run accident lawyer in Lafayette, LA, who has previously handled these kinds of cases. With their help, an injured plaintiff may be able to present a solid case in court and recover the money they need from their insurance carrier to get their life back in order.
I thank God for Digger & David. I don’t know what we would have done if it hadn’t have been for them.Rick Smith | Client
What Happens If They Eventually Capture the Hit and Run Driver
The insurance issues surrounding hit and run automobile accident losses can be complicated. Let’s say you already paid the deductible on your automobile insurance policy, and your insurance company paid some of your losses.
Afterward, law enforcement captures the hit and run driver. What happens to the money that you and your insurance company paid? Typically, you will get reimbursed for your deductible, and your insurance company will get reimbursed for the money they paid by the hit and run driver’s insurance company.
The reassurance from Digger and his staff gave me that renewed hope that it’s going to be okay down the road.Client
Damages in Hit and Run Accident Injury Claims
Most negligent drivers either turn themselves in or get caught by the police. When that happens, and the hit and run driver gets charged with the accident, the injured people can seek monetary damages for their losses.
There is no predetermined dollar amount that the victims of hit and run collisions can automatically get for their injuries. Every car accident injury case is different. The amount of monetary damages you can pursue will depend on the unique facts of your situation.
Here are some of the common types of compensation people can be awarded in these cases:
- Lost income: If you missed paychecks when you could not work because of your injuries, you have a financial loss. This category can include lost wages, salary, self-employment, and other types of regular income. Also, if you cannot make as much money as before because of your injuries, you have future lost wages for your decreased earning capacity.
- Medical expenses: The cost of the medical care you need for your wounds is usually recoverable. From the ambulance and emergency room to the doctors, surgery, hospital, physical therapy, and prescription drugs, your medical expenses can be a part of your injury claim. Keep your medical records for evidence.
- Property damage: You may be entitled to compensation if your vehicle or other pieces of your property were damaged in a hit and run incident. Damage to vehicles can usually be recovered with ease.
- Pain and suffering: Getting your medical expenses paid is good, but it does not address what you suffered due to the accident and your injuries. Pain and suffering damages are for the physical discomfort and emotional distress of the accident, in addition to your medical bills. Emotional trauma is real, and you’re not alone.
- Other intangible losses: You might have additional non-economic losses like disfigurement from scars, loss of enjoyment of life, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
These are merely a few damages that a person might pursue after getting injured in a hit and run accident. Contact our personal injury law firm for more information about gaining fair compensation in an accident lawsuit.
They treated us like no other people would. Whenever we needed something they were there for us. I put my trust in them and I don’t regret it.Client
How You Can Afford to Hire a Lafayette, LA, Hit and Run Accident Lawyer
You do not have to be wealthy to have our law firm of personal injury lawyers represent you in your hit and run accident injury claim. These cases fall within the category of personal injury claims. We handle these and other personal injury claims on a contingency fee basis.
With this fee arrangement, you won’t have to pay any upfront legal fees. We work tirelessly on your case until the very end. At that point, we receive a portion of the fair settlement proceeds or jury award. In other words, we do not get paid until we win your case.
Are Punitive Damages Available for Hit and Run Accidents?
Punitive damages are used to punish civil offenders for grossly negligent behavior and are a category of damages wholly distinct from economic and non-economic damages. Intended to act as a disincentive for similar future behavior, these damages are only available in very limited circumstances in Louisiana.
A common example of a case that could result in the accident victim being awarded punitive damages is a drunk driver accident that results in serious physical injury.
Since punitive damages are limited under Louisiana law, they do not apply to most hit and run pedestrian accidents. However, you should still contact a pedestrian accident lawyer in Lafayette to explore your options for financial recovery. Anyone who thinks their case involves extreme negligence, reckless disregard for the safety of others, or an intentional act should discuss the possibility of punitive damages with their legal counsel.
Get in Touch with a Lafayette Hit and Run Accident Attorney
If you experience a hit and run accident, there are several options for recovery that you could discuss with a Lafayette, LA, hit and run accident lawyer with Laborde Earles today. Contacting a personal injury attorney at our law office early on could help greatly with the search for evidence regarding the identity of the at-fault driver.
Just because the driver fled the accident scene does not mean you are barred from the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free initial consultation to get started on getting legal advice for your case.