In the state of Georgia, in 2020 alone, there were 331,798 car accidents. Some of those accidents are unfortunately bound to be hit-and-runs. A hit-and-run accident is when a driver who was involved in a car crash fails to stop at the scene of an accident, does not provide identification, or refuses to offer assistance to any person injured as a result of the accident. Victims of hit-and-run accidents could be stuck in a tough situation to get any type of coverage and compensation for repairs, medical expenses, loss of income, and more if they don’t know the right steps to take. Keep reading to learn how hit-and-run cases work and what you should do in the event you end up in a hit-and-run situation.
1. Call The Police
The police will be able to file a report and examine what type of vehicle struck your car before leaving the scene. This can lead to finding the car that hit your vehicle.
2. Document The Damage
If you are able, take pictures of the damage that your car suffered as a result of the accident. Also, take note of the weather and traffic conditions at the time the hit-and-run occurred.
3. Call Your Insurance Company
Report the car accident as soon as you can. If you have uninsured motorist coverage, you will be able to use this to compensate you in this situation since your claim will be against your own car insurance company (since there is not another driver to go against). This is called a “John Doe Claim”.
A John Doe claim is any case where the person filing the suit does not know the identity of the defendant or thinks they may be able to identify other defendants later. You need to have one of two factors met to be able to file a John Doe claim:
- You must show actual contact between your vehicle and the unknown vehicle. This is essentially the damage your car experienced from the accident.
- Have an eyewitness that can attest to your version of what happened. This person could be someone who was in your vehicle when the accident happened or even a bystander that saw the accident.
These two factors will allow you to prove your case against your own insurance company. If you need to file a lawsuit, it would be filed Your Name v. John Doe. Your insurance company would then hire a defense attorney for John Doe. You would then need to prove your case as you would in a normal lawsuit.
Be sure that you have uninsured motorist coverage because, in the case of a hit-and-run accident, it is the only coverage that you can get recovery and compensation from. Click here to learn more about uninsured motorist coverage.
If you have experienced a hit-and-run accident and need assistance seeking compensation, our attorneys at the J. Stein Law Firm can help. We assist victims to navigate insurance claims so they can focus on their recovery. At the J. Stein Law Firm, we are committed to getting justice for our clients. Schedule your free case consultation today to get started.