When an accident that wasn’t your fault causes you injury, you are entitled to compensation from the at-fault party’s insurance company for your medical expenses and other damages. This is why, when it comes to motor vehicle accidents, it is always advisable to get the contact information of everyone involved in the crash.
Yet, what happens if you don’t know who caused the crash because the at-fault driver fled the scene? This type of accident is called a hit-and-run and can be especially frustrating and devastating for those who sustain serious injuries caused by the missing party’s reckless actions. Our Louisville hit-and-run accident attorneys explain what you can do to receive compensation following a car accident in which the at-fault driver fled the scene.
How to Prove Liability in a Kentucky Hit & Run Accident
In Kentucky, any motorist involved in a car accident is required to remain at the scene to provide their personal and insurance information as well as contact emergency services if needed. Failing to stop after hitting an occupied motor vehicle, a pedestrian, or someone’s property is an illegal offense.
To prove that someone committed a hit-and-run accident and can be held liable for damages, you or your attorney much prove the following with evidence:
- The motorist who fled the accident scene (aka the defendant) was driving a motor vehicle that caused property damage, injury, and/or death
- The defendant either knew or should have known they were involved in a crash
- The defendant knew or should have known that property damage, injury, and/or death occurred
- The defendant intentionally failed to stop at the scene of the crash or failed to remain at the scene long enough to provide identification and medical assistance
If caught, the at-fault driver will likely be hit with both criminal and civil charges. Personal injury claims fall under the latter.
How to Receive Compensation If Someone Leaves the Accident Scene
Fortunately, Kentucky is a “no-fault” state, meaning that regardless of who is responsible for a car accident, you must always file a claim with your own insurance company first. This means that as long as you have the legally required car insurance policy, you should be able to receive some compensation, even if the driver who hit you or your car is nowhere to be found.
However, the minimum insurance coverage is nowhere near adequate enough for those who have sustained serious injuries. If you end up needing long-term or permanent treatment for a severe injury, your insurance company won’t be able to provide enough compensation to cover your medical bills and lost wages. Therefore, it is in your best interest to try and find the at-fault driver so you can file a lawsuit.
Steps you can take to find the hit-and-run driver include:
- Take detailed notes of anything you remember about the vehicle that hit you or your car, including the car’s make, model, color, plate number, and any bumper stickers or other identifying features
- Take photographs of the accident scene, especially of any property damage and injuries
- Speak with witnesses and ask about surveillance cameras in the area to see if they can reveal any information about the at-fault driver and their vehicle
- Contact law enforcement to report the accident and for help locating the at-fault driver
By taking care of all the above, you may be able to locate the driver who hit you and file a lawsuit to hold them responsible. A lawyer can help.
How a Hit & Run Accident Lawyer Can Improve Your Claim
The Louisville hit-and-run accident lawyers at Walker Wallace PLC can help you conduct an investigation to successfully find the driver who caused your accident. We will help you put together evidence proving the driver was at fault and use our resources and local connections to help you find them. We will also represent you during any negotiations and litigation that follow.