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Hit and Run Accident

Dealing with the aftermath of an accident is stressful enough; even more so when the at-fault driver flees the scene. If you have been involved in a hit-and-run accident, you understand how frustrating these types of accidents can be. If you get into a car accident, North Carolina law requires that you stop at the scene. Not everyone, however, follows this rule.

If you have been involved in a hit-and-run accident, you may be wondering what to do next. It is important to speak with an attorney as soon as possible to help you understand your legal options and the best way to move forward. Contact us today to schedule your free initial consultation.

Engaging in a Hit and Run is a Crime in North Carolina

Failure to stop after an accident is a crime in North Carolina. When a driver collides with another vehicle, or property, such as a house, light pole, or pet, they may face a Class 1 misdemeanor charge if they fail to stop at the scene. In North Carolina, Class 1 misdemeanors carry a possible sentence of up to a year in jail and serious fines. If the accident results in serious injuries or someone’s death, the driver could face a Class H felony charge. A Class H felony charge carries a potential sentence of over a year in jail and significant fines. Despite the possible consequences, hit and run accidents continue to happen every day.

Know Your Rights as a Victim of a Hit and Run Accident

If you have been involved in a hit-and-run accident, you may be wondering what to do next. It is extremely important to call the police to the scene of the accident and file a police report. If you are able to do so safely, take pictures of the accident and note any information regarding the scene and the other driver. All of this information will not only help when filing an insurance claim but may also be useful in the event you decide to pursue legal action.

If you have been injured in the accident, it is important that you request medical care and document all of your injuries. Follow any advice given by the medical professionals, even if you think your injuries are not severe. If there were witnesses at the scene or CCTV footage, law enforcement may be able to use this to track down the other driver. If law enforcement does find the other driver, you can file a claim with his or her insurance for any damages resulting from the accident.

North Carolina law requires all drivers to have minimum liability insurance of at least following amounts:

  • $30,000 per person for bodily injury coverage
  • $60,000 per accident for bodily injury coverage
  • $25,000 per accident for property damage

Unfortunately, even if you do find the at-fault driver, they may be uninsured or have insufficient coverage to cover the full extent of your injuries. If this is the case, you may be able to file a claim with your insurance company. If you have underinsured motorist coverage, your policy may cover the difference between the amount that the at-fault driver's insurance covers and the actual amount of your damages.

What happens when the at-fault driver flees the scene, and law enforcement cannot identify who he or she was? In this scenario, you may be able to file a claim through your uninsured motorist coverage. Keep in mind that you will need to prove that there was actual contact between the other vehicle and your vehicle. Doing so can be challenging, especially if the other driver never actually hits your car. For example, when a driver crosses a lane into traffic, causing you to swerve and hit a light pole. In this scenario, you will likely not be able to collect compensation through an uninsured motorist policy. However, you may be able to file a claim if you have optional collision coverage.

Contact Us Today

If you have been involved in an accident, it is important to have the guidance and knowledge of an attorney to help you through the aftermath. At Arnold & Smith, PLLC, we can review the circumstances of your case and help come up with a plan to move forward. Contact us today to schedule your free initial consultation and learn how we can advocate for you. For your convenience and safety, we offer video and phone conferencing. If you prefer an in-person consultation, we have three easy to reach offices in Uptown Charlotte, Monroe and Mooresville.

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