Hit and run accidents can be some of the most frightening experiences on the road. They leave you feeling helpless, confused, and vulnerable—especially if you’ve been injured or your property has been damaged in the crash. Fortunately, a Virginia Hit and Run Accident Lawyer can provide legal representation in these types of cases. But before you start looking for a lawyer, you need to understand what kind of compensation is available after a hit and run accident in Virginia—and how liability works too.
What is a Hit-and-Run Accident and Its Resulting Injuries
A hit-and-run accident is a type of traffic accident in which a driver who causes the accident leaves the scene without stopping to identify themselves or to offer help to anyone who may be injured. Hit-and-run accidents can involve pedestrians, bicycles, motorcycles, or other vehicles, and can result in serious injuries or even death.
The injuries resulting from hit-and-run accidents can vary depending on the severity of the accident, but some common injuries include:
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI): TBI is a type of injury that can occur when a person’s head strikes an object, or when the brain is jolted inside the skull. TBIs can result in long-term cognitive and physical impairments.
- Spinal Cord Injuries (SCI): SCI can occur when the spinal cord is damaged in a car accident. This type of injury can cause loss of sensation and movement in the affected areas of the body.
- Broken Bones: Hit-and-run accidents can result in broken bones, which can require surgery and extended periods of rehabilitation.
- Internal Injuries: Internal injuries may not be immediately apparent after a hit-and-run accident, but can be life-threatening if left untreated. Some common internal injuries include organ damage and internal bleeding.
- Emotional Trauma: Hit-and-run accidents can also result in emotional trauma, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depression.
If you’ve been injured in a hit-and-run accident, it’s important to seek medical attention immediately, even if you don’t think you’ve been seriously injured. You should also contact a personal injury lawyer who can help you understand your legal options and pursue compensation for your injuries.
What Should I Do After a Hit-and-Run Accident?
If you’ve been involved in a hit-and-run accident, here are some important steps you should take:
- Call 911: Contact emergency services immediately, including the police and ambulance if necessary. Provide as much detail as possible about the accident and any injuries.
- Gather Information: Try to gather as much information about the accident as possible, including the make and model of the other vehicle, its license plate number, and any identifying features of the driver.
- Talk to Witnesses: If there were any witnesses to the accident, ask for their contact information and a brief statement about what they saw. Their testimony may be valuable in identifying the driver responsible for the accident.
- Take Photos: If you’re able to, take photos of the accident scene, including any damage to your vehicle and the surrounding area.
- Seek Medical Attention: Even if you don’t feel injured, it’s important to seek medical attention after a hit-and-run accident. Some injuries, such as concussions or internal bleeding, may not be immediately apparent.
- Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer: A personal injury lawyer can help you understand your legal options and pursue compensation for your injuries, even if the driver responsible for the accident is never found.
Remember, hit-and-run accidents can be traumatic, but it’s important to stay calm and take the necessary steps to protect yourself and your legal rights.
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How Car Insurance Works in Virginia
In Virginia, car insurance coverage works differently for hit-and-run accidents compared to accidents where the at-fault driver remains at the scene.
If you have car insurance, your policy may cover damages resulting from a hit-and-run accident, depending on the coverage you have. Virginia law requires all drivers to carry a minimum liability insurance policy, which includes coverage for bodily injury and property damage. However, this coverage only applies if the at-fault driver is identified.
If the at-fault driver flees the scene and cannot be identified, you may be able to file a claim with your own insurance company under your uninsured motorist coverage. This type of coverage is not required in Virginia, but it is offered by many insurance companies as an optional add-on.
Uninsured motorist coverage can help pay for damages and injuries resulting from a hit-and-run accident, up to the limits of your policy. It may also cover hit-and-run accidents where the at-fault driver is identified but does not have insurance.
If you’re involved in a hit-and-run accident, it’s important to contact your insurance company as soon as possible to report the incident and discuss your coverage options. You should also consider contacting a personal injury lawyer who can help you understand your legal rights and pursue compensation for your injuries.
Who is Liable for a Hit-and-Run Accident in Virginia?
In Virginia, the driver who causes an accident is generally responsible for any damages resulting from the accident, including injuries and property damage. This includes hit-and-run accidents, although identifying the at-fault driver can be difficult in these situations.
If the at-fault driver in a hit-and-run accident is identified, they may be held liable for any damages resulting from the accident. This can include paying for property damage, medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses incurred by the victim.
However, if the at-fault driver cannot be identified, the victim may still be able to recover damages through their own insurance company under their uninsured motorist coverage. Uninsured motorist coverage is designed to provide coverage for accidents caused by uninsured or underinsured drivers, including hit-and-run accidents.
In some cases, other parties may also be held liable for a hit-and-run accident in Virginia. For example, if a hit-and-run driver causes an accident while driving a stolen vehicle, the owner of the vehicle may be held responsible for any damages resulting from the accident.
If you’ve been involved in a hit-and-run accident in Virginia, it’s important to contact a personal injury lawyer who can help you understand your legal rights and pursue compensation for your injuries.
What Types of Compensation are Available After a Hit-and-Run Accident in Virginia?
If you’ve been involved in a hit-and-run accident in Virginia, you may be entitled to several types of compensation, depending on the circumstances of the accident and the extent of your injuries. Here are some of the types of compensation that may be available:
- Medical Expenses: In a hit-and-run accident, medical expenses can be a significant financial burden. You may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, including emergency room visits, hospital stays, doctor’s appointments, diagnostic tests, rehabilitation, and any necessary medical equipment or medication. You should keep all medical records related to the accident, including bills, receipts, and documentation of your injuries.
- Lost Wages: If your injuries from the hit-and-run accident prevent you from working, you may be entitled to compensation for lost wages. This includes any missed work due to the accident and any future lost earning capacity if your injuries prevent you from working in the future.
- Property Damage: If your vehicle was damaged in the hit-and-run accident, you may be entitled to compensation to cover the cost of repairs or replacement. If you had any personal property damaged in the accident, such as a laptop or phone, you may also be able to recover compensation for those damages.
- Pain and Suffering: Pain and suffering damages are a type of compensation that addresses the physical and emotional effects of the accident. This includes physical pain, emotional distress, anxiety, depression, and other negative effects on your quality of life. These damages are often more difficult to quantify than economic damages like medical expenses or lost wages, but they are still an important part of seeking compensation after a hit-and-run accident.
- Punitive Damages: In some cases, a hit-and-run accident may involve particularly reckless or intentional conduct on the part of the at-fault driver. In these cases, the court may award punitive damages as a way of punishing the driver and deterring similar behavior in the future. These damages are separate from compensatory damages and are intended to send a message rather than compensate the victim directly.
To recover these types of compensation after a hit-and-run accident in Virginia, it’s important to work with an experienced personal injury lawyer. They can help you gather evidence, negotiate with insurance companies, and file a lawsuit if necessary to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.
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How a Virginia Hit and Run Accident Lawyer Can Help
If you have been involved in a hit and run accident in Virginia, our team of experienced hit and run accident lawyers at the Parrish Law Firm can help you protect your legal rights and get the compensation you deserve.
Here are some of the ways that we can help you:
- Investigate the Accident: Our hit and run accident lawyers can conduct an independent investigation into the accident to gather evidence and identify the at-fault driver. We can talk to witnesses, review police reports and medical records, and use other resources to track down the driver.
- Communicate with Insurance Companies: Dealing with insurance companies after a hit and run accident can be stressful and confusing. Our hit and run accident lawyers can communicate with the insurance companies on your behalf to ensure that your rights are protected and you receive a fair settlement.
- Represent You in Court: If the insurance company is not willing to offer a fair settlement, our hit and run accident lawyers can represent you in court. We can help prepare your case, gather evidence, and present a strong argument in front of a judge or jury.
- Help with Medical Treatment: We can help you get the medical attention you need to recover from your injuries. Our team can refer you to medical professionals who specialize in treating the specific injuries you sustained in the accident.
- Protect Your Rights: Finally, our hit and run accident lawyers can help protect your legal rights and ensure that you are treated fairly throughout the legal process. We can explain your rights, represent your interests, and advocate for your case.
If you have been involved in a hit and run accident in Virginia, don’t hesitate to contact us at the Parrish Law Firm at (571) 253-7182 to speak with an experienced hit and run accident lawyer. We can provide you with the legal expertise, guidance, and representation necessary to recover the compensation you deserve.