If you sustained injuries in a hit-and-run car accident, you might be wondering who will pay for your injuries and other damages. Understandably, many prospective clients want to know how much money these types of cases resolve for. However, there is no average settlement value for a hit-and-run car accident. Every case is different, and car accidents settlements can vary significantly.
A variety of factors can impact your potential settlement value, which is why it’s impossible to share an average amount that a hit-and-run car accident is worth. It’s essential to speak with an experienced Colorado auto vehicle accident lawyer to understand your case value. The legal team at Gerash Steiner Blanton, P.C. has decades of experience assisting injured victims just like you. When you meet with one of our attorneys, we will go over all the factors of your case and explain how they impact your overall case value.
What Factors Impact the Average Settlement Value for a Hit-and-Run Car Accident?
Understanding what makes up a car accident settlement of any kind is crucial. You can have two accidents with similar injuries resolve for significantly different amounts. Here is a look at some of the most critical factors that impact a hit-and-run car accident settlement.
The Severity of Injuries
The type and severity of your injuries play an important role in your case. The more severe your injuries are, the higher value they might be. For example, someone with soft tissue injuries that resolve on their own in eight weeks will have a lower value than someone who sustained a traumatic brain injury with permanent damage.
You might assume the other driver is automatically at fault because they fled the scene. However, that isn’t always the case. Fleeing the scene of an accident is a crime. However, that isn’t proof they are automatically at fault for the accident or to what extent they bear fault.
Your Total Damages
Damages in a personal injury case include your financial, physical, and emotional losses. Potential damages you can receive compensation for include:
- Medical expenses to date,
- Future expected medical expenses,
- Lost wages,
- Future loss of earning capacity,
- Property damage,
- Pain and suffering,
- Emotional distress, and
- Loss of consortium.
Someone with more severe injuries likely has more damages. To collect money for your damages, you need to prove liability against the other driver. This obviously can be challenging with a hit-and-run collision because you may not be able to identify the other driver.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage
In a hit-and-run car accident, your ability to recover any compensation could depend on the insurance coverage you have. Do you carry uninsured motorist (UM) coverage on your auto policy? If the other driver is not identified, you cannot make a claim against the at-fault party. Uninsured motorist coverage means your insurance company essentially “steps in the shoes” of the at-fault driver’s coverage.
The amount of UM coverage you have can also impact your claim value. If you carry only a small policy and your injuries are catastrophic, you cannot collect more money than your policy limits.
How to Handle a Hit-and-Run Car Accident?
Depending on the circumstances, the best option for handling a hit-and-run car accident might be to hire an injury lawyer and present a claim under your policy’s uninsured motorist coverage. This process is similar to submitting a claim to the other driver’s insurance company. You need to prove liability to receive any money for your losses successfully.
Please don’t make the mistake of assuming that because it’s your own insurance company, they are on your side. In fact, the adjuster has a duty to handle your claim as though you were presenting a third-party liability claim. In other words, your own insurance company is going to regard you as an adversary the moment you make the claim. That means you need evidence of your damages and proof that the other driver was at fault for the accident. That is one reason why having a Colorado injury lawyer represent you is crucial. You need a legal advocate on your side who can help you build the best case possible.
How Hit-and-Run Accidents Differ from Other Car Accident Claims
The main reason a hit-and-run car accident differs is that you don’t have any input from the other driver. A core issue becomes how to identify the driver that hit you and fled. If you cannot track them down, you lose your ability to present a claim to a potentially responsible party. Instead, you will be submitting a claim to your own insurance company, which can confuse some people.
What to Do in a Hit-and-Run Accident
If you sustained injuries in a collision and the other driver fled the scene, it’s essential to remain calm. You may be freaking out and have the urge to chase them, but you cannot leave the scene either. You must contact the police and remain at the accident scene. There is a chance that the other driver will try to claim you are the one who fled the accident instead. Remain there until the police arrive to take a report. Getting a police report is crucial as your insurance company will likely require it for a UM claim.
Provided you can do so safely and without further injuring yourself, take photos of the scene. It would help if you got pictures of your vehicle damage, any debris left on the street, skid marks, the surrounding location, etc. These photos can prove to be vital pieces of evidence and may help in the investigation of who hit you. For example, pictures of the damage to your vehicle showing paint transfer can help support your claim.
Was there a witness to the hit-and-run? If so, ask them to remain at the scene. They should give the police their contact information, a description of the other driver, and facts of the accident. Having a witness corroborate your story is essential for building your case.
If the medical responders do not transport you to the hospital from the accident scene, you still need to see a doctor right away. You could have internal injuries that are not visible to the naked eye. Also, any delay in treatment will raise a red flag in your uninsured motorist claim. The claims adjuster might argue that you could not have sustained severe injuries if you waited weeks to see a doctor. They will argue that your injuries were not severe or that something else caused your injuries, not this accident.
Contact a Colorado Auto Vehicle Accident Attorney Today
If you sustained injuries in a hit-and-run car accident, contact the experienced attorneys at Gerash Steiner Blanton, P.C. today. Our attorneys have over 100 years of combined legal experience. We know how frustrating it is when you’ve been involved in a collision when the other driver flees the scene. Let us open an investigation and try to track down the responsible party.
If we cannot find the driver, we can represent you in an uninsured motorist claim with your own insurance. We know how to handle a hit-and-run car accident claim and will help you fight for the compensation you deserve. Contact our office today to schedule an initial consultation. Let our lawyers help protect your rights and work to find the responsible party who fled the accident scene.