There is no way to calculate an average settlement for a hit-and-run car accident. Not only are all traffic accidents unique, but additional considerations could affect the possible settlement value of a hit-and-run crash.
One way to learn how much your collision may be worth is to work with a car accident attorney. Our team can investigate what happened, gather support for your claim, and estimate a fair and just settlement range for your case.
Many Factors Can Affect a Hit-and-Run Accident Settlement
The varying facets of each hit-and-run collision influence the value of each case.
Although two drivers might suffer similar injuries, the cause of the accident or how much it affects their everyday life may differ significantly. These factors could affect the value of your potential car accident settlement.
Whether We Can Identify the At-Fault Driver
Sadly, some hit-and-run drivers go unidentified. You cannot file an insurance claim against them to hold them liable when this occurs. While you have alternative ways to seek compensation, this can affect the value of your claim.
For example, if you purchased uninsured motorist (UM) protection as part of your insurance policy, you could pursue compensation through your insurer to cover the accident. Your policy treats a hit-and-run driver the same as an uninsured driver because they are not present to provide their insurance information. However, UM insurance often is an optional policy addition in most states.
The Severity of Your Injuries
If you sustained severe and permanent injuries, your case would likely be worth more than if you suffered a broken bone that heals within a few months. Injuries that require surgery, lengthy hospital stays, inpatient rehabilitation, or other extended treatment and care are usually worth more. The most valuable claims generally involve catastrophic injuries such as:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Spinal cord injuries (SCIs)
- Chemical burns
Severe injuries can also alter the value of your case by causing you to miss more work and therefore lose more income. If you cannot return to work, you could also claim diminished earning capacity.
Accident-Related Losses and Expenses
In personal injury cases, plaintiffs can pursue compensation for damages related to their physical injuries. In addition, they can seek other compensatory damages that they experienced because of their injuries.
For example, suppose you fractured your leg in a hit-and-run accident and work in a field that requires you to be on your feet most of the day. As a result, you may qualify to pursue compensation for work you missed until you recover.
Other examples of compensatory damages include:
- Medical bills related to your injuries, including costs for future medical treatment
- Missed wages and benefits due to your recovery or having to attend medical appointments
- Car repair costs (or the cash value of your vehicle if the insurance company totaled it)
- Vehicle rental fees
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent disability or disfigurement caused by the accident
- Emotional distress and psychological trauma
- Diminished quality of life
Did your loved one die in a hit-and-run collision? If you are a surviving family member or spouse of the victim, you may qualify to pursue damages like funeral expenses, loss of consortium, and loss of financial support. Your attorney can go over these details with you as they review your case.
Additional Damages the Jury May Award
Sometimes, juries award punitive damages in hit-and-run cases. For example, if the driver caused the accident because they were intoxicated and left the scene to avoid a DUI arrest, a jury may award punitive damages.
Punitive damages penalize the liable party instead of providing compensation to cover the victim’s costs. This outcome is rare but could dramatically increase the value of your case if it occurs.
For a free legal consultation, call (337) 777-7777
Your Options If the Police Could Not Identify the Hit-and-Run Driver
In some situations, the police and our team cannot identify the driver who caused the accident and left the scene. If you cannot locate the hit-and-run driver, this would prevent you from seeking a payout as you would after most traffic accidents – by filing an insurance claim against the at-fault motorist.
However, there may still be options available to pursue compensation.
Filing an Uninsured Motorist Insurance Claim
Some states require insurance companies to offer UM policies, while others allow drivers to waive this policy. In Louisiana, most drivers carry UM coverage. Under RS 22:1295, all auto liability insurance policies include this coverage unless the policyholder opts out in writing.
If the police do not identify the driver responsible for your crash, you could pursue a claim based on your UM coverage. You could then recover monetary damages for your medical treatment, lost income, and other damages up to your policy limits. The policy limits for UM coverage generally match your auto liability policy limits.
Other Ways to Pay for Your Injuries
If you opted out of your uninsured motorist policy, you could pay some or all of your expenses through other means. Examples include:
- Using health insurance to pay for treatment of your injuries, minus your deductible and copayments
- Filing a claim based on your auto collision coverage to repair or replace your damaged vehicle
An attorney from our firm could help you file a UM claim or identify other options for covering the costs associated with your crash.
Services We Offer Our Clients
Working with one of our car accident attorneys will allow you to focus on your injuries while they handle:
- Investigating the accident and working with law enforcement to identify the hit-and-run driver
- Collecting evidence that supports your claims
- Calculating a fair settlement value for your damages
- Navigating the claims process and settlement negotiations
- Communicating with involved parties, such as insurance companies, the defendant’s attorney, court officials, and investigators
- Seeking financial recovery for your expenses and losses
- Representing your legal interests
All states have a statute of limitations that defines how long plaintiffs have to submit their personal injury lawsuits. Louisiana’s deadline is shorter than most. Per CC Art. 3492, victims generally have up to one year to sue a liable party. In addition, you could have less time based on the details of your case.
Speak With Our Team at Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers About Your Case
While there is no average settlement for hit-and-run cases, our legal team can help you calculate the value of your case. We offer free case reviews to review what to expect and which compensatory damages you may qualify to claim.
Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers handles car accident cases on contingency, meaning you pay no upfront fees. We represent Louisiana car accident victims, including those hurt in hit-and-run accidents. Call (337) 777-7777 now to get started.