WERE YOU INVOLVED IN A SERIOUS HIT AND RUN CAR ACCIDENT IN NASHVILLE? IF SO, YOU MAY BE FEELING CONFUSED, OVERWHELMED AND UNSURE ABOUT WHAT TO DO NEXT.
Injured victims are often concerned about where to get the money to pay medical bills and replace lost wages and other expenses.
Under Tennessee law, all drivers have a legal duty to remain at the scene of a car accident and to exchange up-to-date contact and insurance information with the other parties. Yet, far too often, Tennessee drivers fail to live up to that legal and ethical obligation. Instead, they speed away from the scene of a collision, leaving an innocent victim to deal with the mess.
If you were hurt by a driver who left the scene of the crash, please contact our experienced Nashville hit and run accident attorneys for immediate legal assistance.
Serious Solutions for a Serious Problem
According to data provided by the Tennessee Department of Public Safety, there were at least 16,606 hit and run accidents in the state in a single recent year, with 3,139 of those crashes occurring in Davidson County alone.
At the office of Bill Easterly & Associates, we fight for the rights of hit and run accident victims. We fully understand just how difficult it can be to go through this type of accident. Our firm has a deep understanding of the legal and insurance claims process, and we know how to protect hit and run victims.
As it can be challenging to pursue a hit and run accident claim, it is imperative that victims act quickly to protect their rights. Victims should seek immediate legal assistance from an attorney who can help them explore every available avenue to recover compensation.
Under Tennessee law, car accident victims are entitled to compensation for the full extent of their damages. Specifically, recovery can be sought for:
- AUTOMOBILE DAMAGE AND OTHER PROPERTY LOSSES
- ALL EMERGENCY MEDICAL BILLS, INCLUDING AMBULANCE FEES
- OTHER MEDICAL COSTS, INCLUDING REHABILITATION-RELATED EXPENSES
- SHORT-TERM DISABILITY AND LONG-TERM DISABILITY
- LOST WAGES AND DIMINISHED EARNING CAPACITY
- NON-ECONOMIC DAMAGES, SUCH AS PAIN AND SUFFERING
- PERMANENT PHYSICAL DAMAGE, INCLUDING DISFIGUREMENT AND LOSS OF LIMB
3 Things Victims Should Do After a Hit & Run
Attempt to Secure Evidence. With hit and run accidents, the best case scenario is that the victim is able to identify the perpetrator. If you can find the responsible party, you may have more legal options available. In some cases, the at-fault party comes forward on their own and takes responsibility for their actions. However, in most cases, an investigation is required to find the hit and run driver. If the victim can get a license plate number (even a partial number) or a description of the vehicle, it could increase the chances that the investigation will be successful.
Call the Police. Hit and run accident victims should always stay at the scene of the crash, wait for public safety officers and file a police report. If the at-fault driver is never found, victims will likely need to file a claim under their own insurance policy. When filing this claim, a police report detailing the hit and run crash could be extremely useful.
Call a Hit & Run Lawyer. Finally, victims should not go through the hit and run accident claims process alone. The car accident insurance claims process is complex in ordinary cases. In hit and run cases, the process becomes even inure confusing. just because you are dealing with “your” insurance company doesn’t mean you won’t have to fight for a fair settlement.
Who Is Liable for a Tennessee Hit and Run?
Tennessee is a comparative fault jurisdiction. This means any party whose negligence contributed to an auto accident can be held (at least partially) liable for the crash. Of course, with hit and run accidents, determining the identity of the at-fault driver is not always possible. Ultimately, liability in these cases will depend in part on whether or not the hit and run driver can be found.
LIABILITY WHEN THE DRIVER IS FOUND
According to statistics provided by the Tennessee Department of Public Safety, approximately 26 percent of hit and run accident cases are solved. In these cases, the identified driver could be held liable for the crash. More specifically, their insurance company, should they have insurance coverage as is legally required under state law, will be responsible for handling the driver’s claim. Not only can the identified hit and run driver be criminally prosecuted for their misconduct, but the injured victim may also be entitled to seek punitive damages for them. While punitive damages are awarded in very limited circumstances, a serious hit and run accident may qualify.
LIABILITY WHEN THE DRIVER IS NOT FOUND
Unfortunately, as the statistics imply, the majority of Tennessee hit and run accident cases are never solved. For innocent accident victims, this is frustrating and challenging. Fortunately, there are still recovery options available for hit and run accident victims even if the responsible driver is never identified. In these cases, victims will generally need to make a claim with their own insurance company. More specifically, they will need to bring a claim through their uninsured motorist or under-insured motorist coverage (UM/UIM) policy. Under Tennessee insurance law, auto insurance policies offered in the state must include UM/UIM coverage unless the policyholder chooses to expressly opt out of that coverage, in writing.
Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Claims
UM/UIM claims are never easy. Victims should always seek qualified legal representation as soon as possible after their accident when considering this avenue of recovery.
Our legal team has considerable experience handling Nashville uninsured motorist accident claims. We know how to handle the unique aspects of these cases, including when they involve hit and run drivers. We always go the extra mile to fight on behalf of our clients so that they can seek the full financial compensation available under their UM/UIM policy.