Like other cities around the nation, Atlanta has seen a steady stream of hit-and-run collisions in the past few years. Even though Georgia makes it a crime to flee the scene of the accident, many motorists do just that. They hit the gas pedal and don’t look back—leaving severely injured people without any way of getting immediate medical care.
If you were hurt in a hit-and-run accident, you probably have high expenses. In addition to the damage to your car, you might need extensive medical care and be unable to return to work. Is there any hope of receiving compensation at this difficult time?
The answer is yes. At Steward Miller Simmons Trial Attorneys, we work closely with hit-and-run accident victims to pursue all available means of compensation. Find out what insurance you can tap by reading this article and contact our Atlanta car accident lawyer if you have questions.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage
All insurance policies in Georgia must come with uninsured motorist coverage, called UM coverage for short. Unless you reject it in writing, you should have it.
This policy is a lifesaver after a hit and run. Typically, most people make a claim on their UM coverage when the driver who hit them lacks insurance. This coverage will step in and pay compensation for your medical care, lost income, and pain and suffering so long as you were not at fault for the collision.
Helpfully, you can also make a UM claim if you are struck by someone who flees the scene. You will want to make sure you call the police after the crash. As mentioned above, you can’t be at fault for the accident if you hope to use UM benefits.
At a minimum, you should have $25,000 in UM coverage for bodily injuries, up to $50,000 per accident if two or more people were injured in your car. Go through your insurance paperwork because you might have elected even higher coverage.
UM insurance should also provide at least $25,000 for property damage, including damage to your car. That should go a long way to fixing any car damage.
Medical Payments Coverage
You might have bought medical payments coverage, which is optional in Georgia. You can use this insurance to pay for medical care to treat your car accident injuries. You might also use it to pay the deductible for your health insurance. It is no fault insurance, so you can use the benefits quite easily following a crash.
How do you pay for immediate medical care? If you have health insurance, you can use that to pay. Many people have health insurance through their job, or they purchase a policy on the market. Others are on government health plans, like Medicare or Medicaid. Present your insurance card at the hospital or doctor’s office. You are responsible for covering co-pays and your deductible.
Your car probably sustained some damage in a hit and run. Is there any way to get compensation for repairs or, if the car was totaled, to purchase a replacement?
Check to see if you carry collision coverage. This policy will pay for car repairs up to the policy limit, regardless of fault. This is a great option if you do not have UM insurance. Collision coverage would be the only way to get some of the damage to your car paid for.
Can You Sue if the Police Find the Driver?
Yes. That is always an option when a motorist is responsible for a crash. Chances are high they were driving negligently or else were intoxicated or distracted. Consequently, they are at fault for the collision.
The big challenge with hit and run accidents is finding the driver. You can’t sue someone whose identity you don’t know. Maybe all you saw was the car hitting you and then speeding off. In a city the size of Atlanta, the driver could be anyone, even someone who lives out of state.
Ideally, you should call the police as soon as you can after getting hit. Tell them you were in an accident and that the driver has fled. You will also want to share information about the driver so the police can try to find them.
We recommend sharing whatever information you know:
- Car make and model
- Car color
- Any identifying features, like a bumper sticker or sticker on the windows
- As much of the license plate as you saw
Also, share any details you know about the driver. Was a man or woman behind the wheel? Race? Glasses? Hair color? This information can help the police narrow down who was driving the car at the time of the accident.
How Can an Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer Help?
Many people feel confused about what insurance to use following a crash. Our legal team can advise you about which policy to reach for when seeking care.
We might also need to negotiate with your insurer. For example, your UM insurance provider might think you were at fault for the collision. Maybe they think you drove off the road because you were texting and driving, or they suspect you were the hit and run driver. Your insurer could deny your claim in these situations.
We will negotiate with insurance companies to get you the benefits you are entitled to. And if the police find the driver, we can make a claim on their liability coverage or else file a personal injury lawsuit in court.
Give Us a Call for Immediate Assistance
Hit-and-run collisions are infuriating. Most of us know that we should stop after a crash. Seeing someone drive away after they have hurt you is an outrage. Fortunately, the Atlanta car accident lawyers at Stewart Miller Simmons Trial Attorneys have tackled all sorts of difficult accident cases, including hit and runs. We can help you make a claim on your UM or other insurance. Please call our law firm today, (404) 529-3476 if you want a confidential consultation with one of our lawyers.