After a hit and run accident, there are many reasons to call your Houston car accident lawyer. Your attorney can help you through the process of seeking compensation, whether from the driver or through your own insurance company. In this article, we’ll explain some ways your lawyer can help as well as what to do after a hit and run accident.
Why You Should Call Your Houston Car Accident Lawyer After a Hit and Run
Your Houston car accident lawyer should be one of your first calls after a hit and run accident. This is because an attorney can help you in many ways after a hit and run. In particular, they can help you seek compensation for your damages and injuries, whether the police catch the hit and run driver or not. Here are some things your personal injury attorney can help with throughout your case:
Getting Compensation From the Driver is Complicated
Law enforcement may catch the driver who caused the accident and drove away from the scene. In these cases, you can typically go after them for the compensation you need for things like your medical bills or vehicle repairs. Yet, oftentimes it’s difficult to get the compensation you need from the driver. Two options are to file a claim against their car insurance or to file a lawsuit against them. In both cases, it helps to have a lawyer fight your hit and run accident case.
Your Houston Car Accident Lawyer can Negotiate Your Insurance Claim
If the hit and run driver had car insurance, you can file a claim against their auto insurance policy. Keep in mind that insurance claims can be lengthy and complicated, especially when you add the issue of their driver driving away after the accident. In these cases, your Houston car accident lawyer can help in many ways, from assisting you with paperwork and submitting evidence to negotiating a settlement amount with the insurance adjuster.
Your Houston Car Accident Lawyer can File a Lawsuit
However, keep in mind that many hit and run drivers run away because they don’t have insurance and are afraid of the legal consequences. In other cases, the insurance may deny coverage if a driver doesn’t stay at the accident scene. If this happens, your Houston car accident lawyer can help you file a lawsuit against the driver to seek the compensation you need. Though, if the person doesn’t have any assets, it can be difficult getting payment from them. Therefore, instead, you may need to handle damages from a hit and run accident through your own insurance.
Your Houston Car Accident Lawyer Can Work with Your Insurance Company for a Fair Settlement
Whether the police never find the hit and run driver or they don’t have insurance coverage to pay for your damages and injuries, you can often go through your own auto insurance policy. There are a few different types of coverage that may apply. For instance, collision coverage can help with the costs of repairing your car. Uninsured motorist coverage can also help with property damage costs as well as medical costs.
Once again, this process can be complex and may need negotiation skills, as your insurance wants to pay you as little as possible to keep profits high. Your injury lawyer can help you with your claim in many of the same ways as they help with a third-party claim with another driver’s insurance. For example, sending a demand letter and negotiating a settlement amount for your claim.
What to do After a Hit and Run Accident?
While hit and run accidents are unfortunately quite common, many people don’t know what to do after a hit and run. There are several steps you can take to help protect yourself and also help your case. Here are our tips for what to do after a driver hits you and drives off:
Don’t Chase the Driver
Whatever you do, don’t chase the hit and run driver. It may seem like the right thing to do at the time so they don’t get away with their crime. Yet, this can cause many problems. First, it can be dangerous. It may end up with you both speeding and weaving through traffic, and you never know how aggressive the driver will be if you catch them. In addition, it’s still illegal for you to leave the scene of a car accident, even if the other driver does.
Also, in chasing the hit and run driver, you may give up some valuable evidence for your case. For example, leaving the scene often means the police can’t effectively investigate the crash. It also means that you lose out on witness statements that may be helpful for your case. Therefore, it’s generally better to stay at the scene.
Get As Much Information As Possible About the Car and Driver
However, just because you don’t chase the driver doesn’t mean you can’t do your part to try to catch the driver. One thing that can be helpful for your case and for the police in their investigation is to get as much information about the car and driver as possible. Some things to look for include:
- Car make, model, and color
- Distinct marks like stickers or modifications to the car
- Damage to the car after the accident
- Description of the driver
- License plate number
- Direction the car was driving when they drove off
Relay this information to the police when they arrive. You can also talk to nearby witnesses to see if they got information that you were unable to after the crash.
Call the Police
The next step is to call the police. If you or your passengers are severely injured, then call 911 for emergency help. If everyone is okay, then call the non-emergency police line for help. It’s vital to get a police report after a hit and run accident. This is not only so that law enforcement can hopefully track down the other driver, but it’s also typically required for insurance claims for a hit and run accident.
Inform Your Insurance Company
You’ll also need to tell your insurance company. Any time you’re in a car accident, you typically must call the insurance company to let them know, even if you’re not at fault. You might also need to mention details like that it was a hit and run and ask about what your policy covers. This doesn’t mean you’ve filed a claim, just that you’ve informed them of an accident.
Call Your Houston Car Accident Lawyer
Don’t forget to call your Houston car accident lawyer. The sooner you talk to your attorney, the better. This way, they can help you early on in the process, including strategizing for potential outcomes and gathering evidence while it’s fresh. This can help you build a case to seek compensation for your damages and injuries.
The Law Office of Daniel D. Horowitz, III PC – Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
After a car accident, call the Law Office of Daniel D. Horowitz, III PC. Mr. Horowitz is an experienced personal injury attorney and can help you after a car or truck accident. As a board-certified personal injury lawyer, Mr. Horowitz works hard to get you the compensation you deserve. Get in touch now to get a free case evaluation and learn how we can help with your case.