North Carolina Hit and Run Accident Attorneys
A car accident can be inconvenient and frustrating at best and traumatic and life-changing at worst. No matter the severity of the crash, however, you expect to go through the formalities with the other driver, including waiting for police to arrive and exchanging contact and insurance information. But what happens when the other driver flees the scene? You may understandably be concerned about how you will hold them accountable and recover compensation to cover your losses, especially if the driver cannot be located.
Representing Victims of Hit and Run Accidents in North Carolina
At Stewart Law Offices, we have the skills, experience, and resources to strategically represent you in these unfortunate situations. Our North Carolina hit-and-run accident lawyers are prepared to fight for optimal compensation regardless of whether the negligent driver can be found. We are sensitive to your financial situation and will immediately work to relieve your burden when you get in touch.
Our team treats clients like members of our family, and we will give your case the attention and diligence it deserves.
If your injuries keep you from coming to us, one of our attorneys will come to you, so call 866-783-9278 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation today. You owe our firm nothing unless we win money for you.
What to Do After a Hit and Run Accident in North Carolina
Even if you are not seriously injured in a car wreck, you will likely need a few moments to recuperate before you step out to speak to the other driver. This means you may not initially realize if the other driver has fled, which is a felony offense in North Carolina. Should this happen to you, try not to panic: There are several things you should do to raise the chances of locating the other driver and protecting your right to compensation.
After a hit and run accident, you should:
- Call 9-1-1. You are legally required to report accidents to law enforcement in North Carolina, so this step is a given, but it is also important to let the dispatcher and responding officer know that the other driver fled the scene. If you do not need to go to a hospital, stay at the crash site until a police officer arrives. They will create an official accident report that will likely become a key part of your case.
- Record any information you remember about the other vehicle. Try to remember the make, model, and color of the vehicle, along with any distinguishing features, such as existing damage, visible modifications, or bumper stickers. If you can remember the license plate number, even better, but every piece of identifying information helps, including any description of what the driver looks like. Give this information to law enforcement and keep a copy for your records.
- Gather evidence. Take photos of your injuries, damage to your vehicle, and the crash scene. If there were any witnesses, try to get their contact information and ask if they can remember any additional identifying information about the fleeing vehicle or its driver. Keep an eye out for any traffic or security cameras that may have captured what happened, including a better image of the at-fault vehicle.
- Get medical care. Schedule an appointment with your doctor as soon as you can, explain you were in a car accident, and request a full medical evaluation. This will link your injuries to the crash, and your doctor may catch injuries that are not immediately obvious.
- Contact our North Carolina hit and run accident attorneys. The sooner you reach out, the sooner our team at Stewart Law Offices can get to work on locating the other driver.
Can I Still Get Compensation if the Other Driver Cannot Be Found?
Ideally, you will have enough information for the police to track down the driver responsible for your hit-and-run accident. When located, they will likely be arrested and charged with a criminal offense. Regardless of whether criminal charges are pursued, you have the right to seek compensation through a civil lawsuit.
The unfortunate truth is that many fleeing drivers are never located or identified, and you cannot sue someone if you do not know who they are. There are many situations where a fleeing driver may be able to escape from sight before you can catch their license plate number. Consequently, the police may not have the information they need to effectively search.
The good news is that, in North Carolina, you can still recover compensation even if the fleeing driver manages to escape accountability. Instead of pursuing a personal injury claim, you will seek compensation from your insurance company through your uninsured motorist coverage. Every driver in North Carolina is required to have one of these policies.
You must file a claim with your insurance company even if the other driver is located. This claim should be filed shortly after the accident, but whenever possible, you should get legal advice before you start the process. We can help you understand what you should say (and avoid saying).
Keep in mind that your insurance company is not looking out for you. With a goal of minimizing their losses, they will likely look to settle your claim for as little as possible, meaning they may offer less than what you are entitled to. When you suffer injuries in a hit-and-run collision, you are generally able to recover damages up to your policy’s limit (after a deductible). Do not sign anything or accept any money from your insurance company until you have discussed your case with a legal professional.
Compensation For Injuries
Whether in a personal injury lawsuit filed against the negligent driver or in negotiations with your insurance company, our North Carolina hit and run accident lawyers will work aggressively to help you seek fair compensation for all losses, including:
- Past, current, and future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Reduced earning capacity
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
Were you injured in a hit and run accident? Do not wait to call 866-783-9278 or contact us online.
How Long Do I Have To File A Hit And Run Accident Lawsuit In North Carolina?
If you are able to locate the negligent driver, you will have three years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit against them. In situations where the at-fault driver cannot be found, the amount of time you have before you lose the right to get compensation will typically depend on the language of your uninsured motorist insurance policy. Many policies require you to promptly report accidents, though, again, you should get legal advice before you proceed.
As a general rule, you should make every effort to discuss your situation with an attorney as soon as possible after a hit and run accident. Even with ample identifying information, it may take time to locate the negligent driver, and you may need to engage your insurance company before they are found and a personal injury lawsuit can be explored. We can review your options and provide guidance every step of the way.