What Damages are Available After a Hit and Run Accident?
Traffic accidents are always distressing and traumatic when they happen between two vehicles, and even more so when a car hits a pedestrian. But when the driver at fault flees the scene in a hit-and-run it’s even more devastating to injured victims. Not only are victims left on their own to call for help, but questions may arise about liability when the at-fault person left the scene without divulging their identity and insurance information and remains unknown.
A hit-and-run traffic accident occurs around every 43 seconds in the United States, leaving victims in at-fault accident insurance states like Texas and New Mexico to wonder—who pays for medical expenses and lost wages after a hit-and-run accident? What compensation is available for damages after a hit-and-run?
What to Do After A Hit-And-Run Accident
Any driver who is involved in a car accident, hits a pedestrian, or damages property with their vehicle and then leaves the scene without reporting the accident, or remaining to exchange insurance information is a hit-and-run driver and faces multiple penalties if identified.
If you’ve sustained property damage and/or injuries from a hit-and-run accident, taking the following steps could help you to protect your health and safety and increase your chances of gaining compensation for your damages:
- If you’re severely injured, remain in place and wait for help
- If you’re able to move without increasing your injuries, move to the shoulder of the road and out of traffic
- Use your phone to snap photos of the fleeing car and its license tag if you’re able to access your camera
- Call 911 to report the accident
- Take photos of the accident scene
- If any eye-witnesses are nearby, gather their contact information and record any details they remember about the hit-and-run vehicle and driver
- Allow emergency responders to transport you to a hospital and undergo a complete evaluation, telling the doctor about every symptom
- Follow all of your doctor’s treatment recommendations
- Gather your medical report, accident report, and any eyewitness information
- Contact an experienced personal injury attorney in New Mexico specializing in car accidents to evaluate your case
The aftermath of any accident is traumatic, and hit-and-run accidents are especially disheartening, but by remaining cool-headed you can take steps to protect yourself.
What Damages Can I Recover After a Hit-and-Run Accident?
After an accident, you may have property damage, injuries that require treatment, and the need to take recovery time away from work. In an at-fault state, your own insurance should cover your damages if the person at-fault remains unknown. Depending on your car insurance policy, your insurance should cover the following:
- The repair or replacement costs of your vehicle in a vehicle accident
- Your medical expenses up to your coverage limits, after which your health insurance must pay once you’ve met your deductible
- If you have uninsured motorist coverage, it will cover your expenses after a hit-and-run.
If you lost a loved one in a fatal hit-and-run accident, a skilled New Mexico wrongful death attorney can represent your claim and help you seek financial compensation.
What If The Hit-and-Run Driver Is Identified?
If the police find the hit-and-run driver not only will he/she face penalties that increase in relation to the severity of the property damages and injuries and up to 6 years in prison for fatalities, but they are also liable for damages, typically paid out by their insurance company. You could recover the following damages:
- Medical expenses
- Lost earnings and future lost wages
- Diminished capacity for future earnings for severe injuries that cause disability
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional anguish and trauma
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of life
If you’ve been harmed by a hit-and-run driver, an experienced New Mexico car accident attorney can help you maximize your chances for significant compensation for your damages.