What Damages are Available After a Hit and Run Accident?

Posted by Legal Team | 02/17/23 | Car 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.