What are My Recovery Options After Being Injured in a Hit & Run Accident in Virginia?
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At Wind Law, LLC, our Mechanicsville car accident attorney knows that being injured in a Virginia vehicle collision changes everything about how your life unfolds from the moment you get out of your vehicle through your complete recovery. The only thing that worsens this experience is exiting your car only to watch the at-fault driver speed away from the crash scene.
This leaves the victim not only injured but also confused about the next steps. Who will pay for the vehicle damage, medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses?
If you can do so safely, and your injuries allow, the first thing to do after a hit-and-run accident in Virginia is gather as much information as possible about the fleeing vehicle.
This may include the make and model of the vehicle, any identifying features — like signs from a previous collision, bumper stickers, or tinted windows — and any car parts that were left behind in the crash. We understand that crashes happen fast, so it is entirely understandable if you cannot recall each detail.
Ask potential witnesses who stopped at the crash scene for help, and document any details they remember about the car that hit you and fled.
Call the Police
Never leave the scene of a hit-and-run accident without calling the police. You will need an official record of a crash, and local law enforcement can help fill in the details about when, where, and how the collision happened based on the evidence at the scene, even if the other driver fled. The police can also begin looking for the hit-and-run driver based on the information you or any witness provide so that they can be liable for the crash.
Seek Any Necessary Medical Attention
Seeking prompt medical care should be the next priority, even if you do not think you were seriously injured. The adrenaline rush after an accident can mask symptoms of shock, internal bleeding, fractures, or head trauma. Having your injuries checked and documented will facilitate proper recovery.
Medical records will also help support your personal injury claim and allow you to pursue total compensation from the crash.
Pursue Your Insurance Coverage for Your Damages
Currently, Virginia is one of a handful of states that does not require drivers to have automobile insurance at all. An uninsured driver may pay a $500 fee to the DMV to drive without any insurance. The Insurance Information Institute estimates that over 10% of Virginia drivers do not have liability insurance. However, that may change soon. In Spring 2023, the Virginia General Assembly passed a bill that would require all drivers to have car insurance. The bill heads to Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s desk for a signature. If it becomes law, drivers will have until July 1, 2024, to secure insurance.
If you currently carry car insurance coverage, as of July 1, 2023, you were also required to carry uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage.
This is important because this is the coverage you will pursue for your damages if the hit-and-run driver could not be located. This covers your bodily injury expenses, vehicle repairs, lost wages, and pain and suffering damages up to your policy limits.
This is also where things become complicated, especially for long-term insurance policyholders who are confident their insurance provider will do the right thing.
The reality is that your insurance provider will require you to prove a hit-and-run driver was liable for the crash, just as a negligent driver’s insurance provider would make you prove their policyholder was at fault if they stayed behind.
The best way to establish fault is through independent eyewitness accounts and physical evidence from the scene, details in the police report, camera footage, debris left behind, and visible injuries or damage that can demonstrate the hit-and-run driver’s responsibility.
We understand that gathering this information and building your claim for success may be too much to bear after an accident. We can help. If you have already tried to pursue your uninsured motorist insurance coverage for your damages and have only been met with resistance from your provider, we can help with that, too.
Contact Our Hit & Run Accident Lawyer Today
Contact our dedicated Mechanicsville hit-and-run accident attorney today during a free consultation to discuss how the crash has impacted your life. We can help you understand your rights, assess the strength of your case, and guide you through the legal process to improve your chances of obtaining fair compensation from your insurance policy for your injuries and losses.
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