Hit-And-Run Accident Attorneys
Being involved in a car accident is never a fun experience, but when the driver who hit you flees the scene, you can find yourself wondering what comes next. How will you be able to file a claim with their insurance company if you weren’t able to get their name or contact information? Will you be on the hook for your medical bills and vehicle repairs? Will the police be able to find and penalize the hit-and-run driver?
At Shevlin Smith, P.C., we know that hit-and-run accidents raise more questions than answers. The good news is that you can usually recover compensation after a hit-and-run accident by filing a claim with your own insurance provider. Our Fairfax hit-and-run accident attorneys can guide you through this process and provide the information and representation you need to move forward.
Continue reading to learn more or reach out to our firm today at 703-634-7350 to get started with a free initial consultation. We serve clients throughout Virginia and Washington, D.C.
What Constitutes A Hit And Run In Virginia?
In both Virginia and Washington, D.C., a “hit-and-run” is a criminal offense that occurs anytime a person leaves the scene of an accident without stopping. You are required by law to stop after an accident and provide your name and insurance information, as well as render reasonable aid to anyone who is injured.
Is Hitting A Parked Car And Leaving The Scene Of The Accident Considered A Hit And Run?
It is also considered a “hit-and-run” when someone crashes into a parked car or unattended property and leaves without identifying him or herself as the driver. In other words, if a person collides with your car but fails to leave a note, this constitutes a hit-and-run.
Additionally, in Virginia, anyone over the age of 15 who was a passenger in a hit-and-run accident but fails to report the crash within 24 hours to the police can be charged with this offense.
Getting Compensation After A Hit-And-Run Accident
When the other driver flees the scene of the accident, it can feel like you’re out of luck when it comes to getting paid for your medical bills, vehicle repair costs, and other losses. But, in both Virginia and D.C., you actually have several options for recovering compensation after a hit-and-run accident.
If the police locate and identify the hit-and-run driver, you can file a standard car accident claim with their insurance company. To do this, you will need to prove that they were at fault for the accident and that this was the cause of your injuries. Because Virginia and Washington, D.C., both follow the rule of contributory negligence, you will need to essentially prove that you were not to blame whatsoever for the crash to recover compensation.
In some cases, the police are not able to identify the hit-and-run driver. When this happens, you may be able to recover compensation through your own insurance provider via your uninsured motorist coverage. Virginia and Washington, D.C., require drivers to carry this type of coverage, meaning you are likely already protected. Uninsured motorist coverage can be used to compensate you for your medical expenses and property damage up to the limits set by your policy.
What To Do After A Hit-And-Run Accident
If you were the victim of a hit-and-run accident, it is important that you try to remain calm. Check yourself and others for injuries and, if necessary, call 911.
Next, take the following steps to protect your health and your rights:
- Call the police: Once you have sought medical attention, the next thing you should do after a hit-and-run accident is contact local law enforcement. Have the police come out to the scene of the accident and provide them with as much information as you can about what happened, as well as the other driver/vehicle that hit you. The more information you can provide, the better able police will be to find the hit-and-run driver.
- Obtain witnesses’ contact information: Witnesses often leave relatively soon after police arrive, so it is important that you get their names and contact information at the scene (if possible). A witness’s testimony could prove critical to your future claim.
- Report the crash to your insurance company: Depending on your policy, you may be required to report the crash within a certain timeframe. Additionally, you may be able to recover compensation from your insurance company if the at-fault driver cannot be identified. Because of this, it is important to report the accident as soon as possible to your auto insurance provider.
- Contact an attorney: Hit-and-run accident claims are much more complicated than standard car accident cases. We strongly encourage you to contact an attorney who can help you understand your rights and legal options. Your attorney will also be able to handle various details – such as gathering evidence and negotiating a fair settlement from the insurance company – so that you can focus on healing.
Our Fairfax hit-and-run accident attorneys are prepared to help you with every aspect of your claim. We have been proudly serving clients throughout Virginia and Washington, D.C., since 1986 and have secured millions of dollars for our clients.
How Shevlin Smith, P.C., Can Help
Whether the at-fault driver fled the scene because they were drunk, unlicensed, or uninsured, a hit-and-run accident can leave victims struggling to get back on their feet. At Shevlin Smith, P.C., our attorneys are well-versed in complex car accident claims, including those involving hit-and-runs. We believe that you should not have to suffer the consequences of another person’s careless or reckless actions on your own, which is why we work tirelessly to protect your best interests and advocate for the maximum compensation you deserve.
We can handle every legal detail while you focus on what matters most: recovering from your injuries and moving forward with your life. We offer free initial consultations and contingency fees, meaning you do not owe a dime unless/until we recover compensation for you. In the unlikely event that we do not win your case, you don’t pay anything.