Who’s responsible when the perpetrator of a hit and run can’t be found?
Individuals involved in traffic accidents are required to stop and exchange information with one another. So when another car leaves the scene without doing so, it’s considered a hit and run. In some cases, the victim of a hit and run is able to track down the individual. In other situations it is not possible to find the perpetrator.
Even in hit and run situations, the victim can still sustain serious injuries with medical bills that pile up. Add that in with time off work and the trauma of such an accident and the victim of a hit and run can have serious financial burden from such a case. A Virginia personal injury attorney can work with victims of personal injury claims resulting from a hit and run car accident to seek compensation even when the victim can’t find driver.
Top reasons for hit and runs
Sadly, many hit and run scenarios happen because the fleeing motorist is worried about the consequences of the accident. There are a few common scenarios in which hit and run accidents occur.
Driver does not have car insurance – Virginia drivers are required by law to have at least $20,000 in property damage coverage and $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident in bodily injury coverage. For various reasons, a driver might choose to still operate a vehicle even though they do not have insurance or have inadequate car insurance. To avoid being caught breaking the law and driving without car insurance, drivers instead choose to flee the scene thinking they will avoid serious consequences.
Vehicle is unregistered – Each state requires that the owner of a vehicle must register their vehicle with the state to operate the vehicle. Generally, when a driver registers a vehicle, they must pay taxes for the purchase of that vehicle, which deters them from completing the process. Plus, there are fees associated with registering a vehicle, which the driver may or may not be able to cover. To avoid law enforcement busting them for not registering their vehicle, these drivers might choose to flee the scene instead.
Driver is unlicensed – Just like having car insurance and registering your vehicle, drivers are required to hold a valid driver’s license to operate a motor vehicle. Drivers must renew that license at regular intervals in accordance with state laws. In Virginia, driver’s licenses are valid for eight years up until age 75, at which point you must renew your license every five years. In cases where a driver fails to renew their license or go through the proper channels to receive a license, they might choose to flee an accident scene to avoid serious criminal charges for operating a vehicle without a license.
Undocumented immigrant – An undocumented immigrant might be sent back to their home country if they are caught for a crime. Undocumented immigrants that are trying to stay in the country without proper documentation or representation can get nervous when dealing with law enforcement. This can make them flee the scene of an accident leaving behind a hit and run victim.
Seeking compensation from your own insurance policy
Sadly, many hit and run scenarios leave only one option for victims and that is to seek compensation from their own insurance company. Working with an attorney can mean that you can still receive compensation for additional costs, such as missed work.
Some insurance companies seek to control costs and might not being willing to negotiate on expenses outside of getting your car repaired. A Virginia car accident attorney can be your advocate and guide as you work to rebound financially from a hit and run car accident.
Gore & Kuperman is your team of Virginia car accident lawyers working to ensure a hit and run doesn’t leave you or a loved one in dire straits. Whether you want help tracking down the driver that fled the scene or filing a lawsuit with your own insurance company, we’ll be here to get you the compensation that you deserve. For a free consultation, call 703-385-7300.
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