The Other Driver Fled the Scene - What Now?
According to state law, Alabama drivers who are involved in traffic accidents must stop and stay at the scene. Anyone who violates this requirement may be subject to criminal charges, but this is hardly helpful to hit-and-run victims who are left injured and stranded.
If you were the victim of a hit-and-run accident in Alabama, you may be feeling shocked and overwhelmed. You may be concerned about how you’ll pay for your crash-related expenses and whether the driver who injured you will ever be brought to justice. This is where the dedicated personal injury advocates at Bence Law Firm LLC come in.
For many years, our team has worked relentlessly to help accident victims recover the compensation they deserve. When we take you on as a client, you can expect to work directly with David Bence, our principal attorney and an Alabama native who works hard to improve the lives of those he serves.
To learn more about your legal options, contact our Phenix City office now for a free case review.
Hit-and-Run Laws in Alabama
Some of the most important traffic laws in Alabama concern drivers’ legal duties following a motor vehicle accident. Specifically, Alabama law requires all drivers who are involved in traffic accidents to:
- Stop at the scene of the accident, if they collided with a vehicle driven or attended by another person or caused any property damage, injury, or death.
- Stop, locate, and notify the owners of any unattended vehicles damaged in the collision or leave behind their contact information in a conspicuous note.
- Provide their names, addresses, and vehicle registration numbers to anyone who was struck by or attending a motor vehicle that was struck in the collision.
- Display their drivers’ license information upon request to anyone struck by or attending a motor vehicle that was struck in the collision.
- Render reasonable assistance, including providing or arranging for transportation to medical facilities, to anyone injured in the accident.
Drivers who leave the scene of an accident without providing the necessary information or fail to uphold these responsibilities may be charged with hit-and-run violations and face associated penalties. If a hit-and-run accident results in only property damage, drivers can be charged with a Class A misdemeanor. If anyone is hurt or killed in a hit-and-run, violators may be charged with far more serious Class C felonies, which carry sentences involving several years in prison.
What to Do After a Hit and Run
You might have a hard time knowing what to do in the immediate aftermath of a hit-and-run, especially if you are already disoriented by a serious injury.
To protect your health and give yourself the best shot at recovering compensation for the harm you suffered, Bence Law Firm LLC recommends that you take the following steps if you are involved in a hit-and-run accident in Alabama:
- Remain at the scene and call 911.
- File a police report for your accident, providing as many details as you can about the driver and vehicle that hit you.
- Get copies of the police report created about the accident.
- Seek prompt medical attention for your injuries, even if you do not think you were hurt, since you may have sustained internal trauma that could worsen over time.
- Hold on to all relevant medical records and follow any treatment plans prescribed by your doctor.
- Write down everything you can remember about the accident as soon as possible while the details are still fresh in your memory.
- Keep a journal of how the accident and your injuries have impacted your life. This journal will help support your claims that you suffered as a result of the hit-and-run.
- Stay off social media. Any pictures or updates you post may be interpreted in ways that may hinder any claim you may have.
- Contact an experienced hit-and-run accident lawyer for a free consultation.
What Are My Options After Being a Victim of a Hit-and-Run?
Alabama has an at-fault system in place for auto insurance, which means that if you are struck by another driver and sustain injuries or property damage as a result, the other driver’s liability insurance coverage typically helps pay for your expenses. Your own liability insurance will not cover any medical bills or car repair costs you incur if you are involved in an accident.
If your car is hit by another vehicle and the driver flees the scene, there is no way to file a claim against their insurance unless the other driver is apprehended. However, there are limited coverage options that are available to hit-and-run accident victims, such as:
- Collision insurance coverage, an optional type of coverage that helps pay for repairs or replacements of your own vehicle
- Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, optional policies that protect you if you are involved in an accident with a driver who has inadequate or no liability insurance
- Personal injury protection (PIP) or Medpay coverage, optional coverage that helps pay for your immediate medical expenses if you are injured
If you did not elect to carry any of these types of optional insurance coverage, it still may be possible to recover compensation for any property damage or injuries you suffered. An Alabama car accident attorney can help you collect evidence that could identify a hit-and-run driver, giving you the opportunity to file a claim with their insurance provider or even pursue compensation in court.
Even a minor hit-and-run accident can cause serious injuries. Here at Bence Law Firm LLC, some of the most common injuries we see in the hit-and-run accident cases we handle include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries such as full or partial paralysis
- Neck, back, and shoulder injuries like whiplash
- Broken and fractured bones
- Scrapes, cuts, and contusions
- Heat, friction, and chemical burns
- Strains, sprains, and other soft tissue injuries
- Internal injuries such as puncture wounds
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
Call a Hit-and-Run Accident Attorney in Alabama Today!
If you were injured in an Alabama hit-and-run accident, time is of the essence. It’s important to act quickly to protect your rights and hold negligent drivers who flee the scene of an accident responsible for the harm they caused. Contact the hit-and-run accident attorneys in Phenix City, AL of Bence Law Firm LLC today to get started with your free, no-obligation consultation.