In Louisiana, as in most states throughout the country, it is illegal for a driver to flee the scene of a car accident. Unfortunately, some drivers still drive away in an attempt to avoid responsibility. This can leave the victim of the hit and run accident upset and understandably angry, but more importantly, it can jeopardize their chance of recovering compensation from the responsible driver. With help from a Lafayette hit and run accident lawyer, 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 skilled car accident attorney quickly to discuss your options.
There are several kinds of evidence that can have a tremendous impact on the outcome of a hit and run accident case. Testimony from the victim and any available eyewitnesses can be of paramount significance, and if the accident occurred near a place of business or a traffic light with a camera, an experienced Lafayette hit and run accident attorney may be able to acquire video footage of the crash from surveillance equipment. This is one reason why contacting a lawyer early on in a case may be important, as such footage may be overwritten or lost as time goes on.
Unfortunately, sometimes there is a dearth of dependable evidence available. In these cases, it may be necessary to recover from the victim’s own insurance company. Seasoned legal counsel may be able to help plaintiffs navigate the complex wording of their insurance policies to argue for an appropriate payout.
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 amount of 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 usually to retain a hit and run accident lawyer in Lafayette who has handled these kinds of cases before. 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.
Punitive damages are used as a way of punishing 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 victim being awarded punitive damages is a drunk driving accident that results in serious injury.
Since punitive damages are very limited under Louisiana law, they do not apply in most hit and run accidents. However, anyone who thinks their case involves an extreme degree of negligence should discuss the possibility of punitive damages with their legal counsel.
If you experience a hit and run accident, there are several options for recovery that you could discuss with a knowledgeable Lafayette hit and run accident lawyer today. Contacting an attorney early on could help greatly with the search for evidence regarding the identity of the offending driver.
Just because the driver fled the scene of your accident does not mean you are barred from the compensation you deserve. Call today to schedule a consultation and get started on your case.