How Can I Prove Fault in a Hit-and-Run Accident?

From 2015 to 2019, roughly four million hit-and-run accidents took place in the United States. A hit-and-run accident occurs when a driver, regardless of fault, leaves the scene without first reporting the incident to local law enforcement or exchanging information with the other parties involved. Doing so is against the law in all 50 states, including North Carolina. If you were involved in a hit-and-run accident, it may still be possible for you to bring a lawsuit for damages against the fleeing party through the use of evidence such as eyewitness statements and traffic camera footage. Since 1985, the experienced Outer Banks car accident lawyers at Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp have been helping victims injured by hit-and-run drivers seek justice and financial compensation. Schedule a free consultation today to discuss your potential case. 

How Can I Prove Fault in a Hit-and-Run Accident?  

For a claim involving a hit-and-run accident to be successful, you will have to show that another driver was at fault. In other words, you must prove that the other driver failed to uphold their duty of care and that their failure to do so was the cause of your accident and injuries. 

Methods of proving that the other driver caused your hit-and-run accident include collecting evidence from the scene, like pictures of your damaged vehicle, eyewitness statements, and any associated property damage. In some cases, plaintiffs may be able to collect evidence from their own vehicles by using data from the GPS or footage from their vehicle’s dashcam.  

Along with collecting material evidence, you can also prove negligence by demonstrating that the fleeing driver violated driving laws. For instance, if you can show that they were texting, intoxicated, or speeding, it could be considered proof of negligence.  

If you can prove the other driver’s negligence resulted in your hit-and-run, you could be eligible for financial compensation for your injuries as well as your economic and non-economic damages.  

What Steps Can I Take to Protect My Claim After a Hit-and-Run Accident?

If you are injured in an Outer Banks hit-and-run car accident, you should report it to local law enforcement right away. Failure to do so could lead to criminal charges, making it even more challenging to collect compensation via a lawsuit.

It is also a smart idea to consult with a qualified Outer Banks car accident lawyer about the circumstances of the accident. They can help you collect strong evidence that will help you prove fault, determine your total damages, and negotiate a fair settlement or, if necessary, advocate for you in court.

If you or the police are not able to locate the at-fault driver or their vehicle, or they do not have auto insurance, an experienced lawyer can walk you through all of your legal options for securing compensation and make sure your case is handled fairly.  

Can I Use My Uninsured Motorist Coverage After a Hit and Run Accident?

Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage is a form of auto insurance designed to cover the medical bills, lost earnings, and pain and suffering of you and your passengers if you are injured by a hit-and-run driver or by a driver who does not have insurance, which could be why they fled the scene in the first place. Almost 7% of all drivers statewide are uninsured. If the driver who caused your accident is one of them, you can be left facing a considerable financial burden.  

Uninsured motorist coverage can also be helpful if the at-fault driver does not have sufficient insurance to cover your damages.

North Carolina has two forms of uninsured motorist coverage: uninsured motorist property damage coverage and uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage. UM property damage covers the costs of repairs to your vehicle. UM bodily injury covers the cost of your medical bills and other expenditures related to your hit-and-run injuries. Make sure you examine your auto insurance policy carefully and understand the types of coverage you have in case of a hit-and-run.  

Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp

Hit-and-run accidents can have severe consequences for everyone involved, especially the victim. Fortunately, the knowledgeable Outer Banks car accident lawyers at Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp can help. Since our law firm first opened its doors in 1985, we have helped countless hit-and-run accident victims pursue justice and the financial compensation they deserve, such as the maximum insurance settlement we negotiated for one client who sustained a traumatic brain injury after she was struck by a drunk driver who fled the accident scene. To schedule a free consultation regarding your hit-and-run accident, or any other type of car accident, call (833) 997-1774 or fill out the contact form on our website. Our offices are located in Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Hampton.