If you are injured in a hit and run accident where the driver does not stop as he is required to do under South Dakota law, you may wonder if you have any options for obtaining the compensation you deserve for your injuries. This is a valid concern since the bottom line is that you cannot hold the negligent driver responsible if you cannot locate him. Fortunately, you may have more possibilities than you think for obtaining the compensation you are entitled to.
Where Can You Turn to Obtain Compensation for Your Injuries in a Hit and Run Accident?
A negligent driver who flees the scene of a wreck faces criminal charges, as well as being responsible for compensating you in a civil lawsuit. Here are options for obtaining reimbursement of your medical bills, lost wages, and more if you are hurt in a hit and run accident:
- Negligent driver's insurance company. When someone is injured in a hit and run crash, the police are more likely to try to locate the driver, especially if witnesses or you can provide some identifying information such as the license plate number or the make and model of the vehicle. Even if the police do not pursue your case, an experienced car accident attorney may be able to help you locate him. If you identify the driver and his insurance company, you can file a claim.
- Negligent driver. If you locate the driver and he has no insurance or it is inadequate to compensate you fully, you will need to sue the negligent driver. However, you need to be realistic. Most individuals do not have sufficient money and property to pay the amount owed to a victim of a car accident. Collecting on your judgment could be extremely difficult.
- Your own insurance company. You may be able to file a claim with your own insurance company if you purchased optional insurance coverage, such as collision, car rental, or uninsured motorist or underinsured motorist coverage. An attorney can advise you on what coverages you have and help you file a claim.
- Restitution. As part of the negligent driver's criminal sentence-if he is convicted-you can ask the judge to order him to reimburse you for your out-of-pocket expenses, such as car repairs, car rental, medical bills, and lost wages.
Were you injured in a car accident caused by a hit and run driver? The experienced legal team at Zimmer Duncan & Cole may be able to assist you in locating the driver and in pursuing all possible avenues of compensation. Call our firm to schedule your free, no-obligation case evaluation.