North Dakota Hit & Run Accidents
Hit & run accidents are particularly disturbing. Someone leaves the scene of an accident, one that may have led to a severe injury or even a fatality, and refuses to take responsibility. If you have been hurt or suffered the tragic loss of a loved one due to this kind of accident, you’ll need to get the help of an experienced attorney as soon as you can.
The attorneys with Sand Law may be able to help. We will listen to the details of your case, and then let you know how we may be of assistance. You can give us a call at 701-609-1510 or use our online form to schedule a free review of your case.
Common Causes of Hit & Run Accidents
The “hit,” so to speak, of a hit & run accident isn’t a whole lot different from the typical car accident. The at-fault driver could have been impaired, or could have been distracted due to using a cell phone or looking at something other than the road. The road could have been slippery due to black ice, and the driver lost control of their vehicle as a result.
What makes this sort of accident different is what possesses someone to leave before exchanging contact information with the other driver, or checking to see if anyone has been hurt.
Why Do People Choose to Run?
It almost seems unfathomable that anyone would choose to run after causing an automobile accident. But if someone falls into one of the following categories, the reasons behind fleeing an accident scene become clearer.
- Drunk driving. There’s a chance that the hit & run driver could have been drunk, or could have been driving under the influence of an illegal drug. That person may have fled simply because they didn’t want to be arrested, and perhaps risk facing a long time in jail.
- Driving without insurance. If a driver is uninsured, the penalties can be severe. Hit & run drivers will sometimes flee the scene of an accident because they don’t want to face those consequences.
- Other legal problems. Drivers may also leave because they’re in the U.S. illegally, have outstanding warrants, are on parole, or may be at risk of being imprisoned due to some other kind of legal issue.
- Panic. Even if someone isn’t impaired or facing legal problems, they may just panic. They’re faced with a psychological “fight or flight” situation, and they choose to run due to fear. There are some instances where a person will eventually turn themselves in at a later date, but you should obviously not assume this will happen.
Evidence Used to Find Hit and Run Drivers and Build Your Case
Just like any other type of automobile accident, in order to obtain compensation for the injuries or other losses you’ve experienced, you’ll need to have evidence in order to prove the accident wasn’t your fault.
Photographs and videos are among the most powerful forms of evidence that exist. If at all possible, you should take pictures of the accident scene with your phone. It would be even better if you could somehow take a video of the hit & run driver leaving the scene.
Also, you should try to talk to witnesses who may have seen the accident, and know exactly what happened. Get their names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses if you can.
Another potential source of evidence will be any nearby security cameras that might have footage of the accident. One of the reasons you’ll need to hire an attorney as quickly as you can is that your attorney may be able to obtain that footage. It could very well be the difference between obtaining the compensation you deserve and getting nothing.
How to Pursue Compensation Once the Driver is Found
Much of the evidence mentioned above is key to helping you prove you weren’t at fault – and, as a result, helping you obtain the compensation to which you are entitled. But it could possibly also be helpful in helping to locate the hit & run driver. You might have been able to capture the license plate of the fleeing vehicle on your smartphone, or a security camera may have captured the plate.
It’s also possible that the hit & run driver may actually choose to do the right thing and come forward. Again, you should never expect that this will happen, but it does.
Either way, once that driver is located, you’re going to need the help of an attorney in order to get the most money possible. Your attorney will help you file your claim, and will also negotiate with the insurance company that covers the other driver. You can focus on recovering from your injuries while the attorney handles all the paperwork, as well as all other aspects of your case.
What Happens if the Driver Isn’t Found?
Unfortunately, there’s a very high likelihood that no one will be able to find the hit & run driver. But even if that’s the case, you may still be able to obtain compensation through your uninsured motorist coverage. Some people find that their health insurance will also include coverage for automobile accidents. This typically isn’t the case, but it will at least be worth it to check.
There’s also a chance an attorney could find that there were other factors that contributed to the accident. The road could have been negligently maintained, for example, or some sort of manufacturer’s defect could have played a role. If you choose Sand Law as your legal representative, we will do everything we can to help you get as much money as we can.
Contact an Attorney for Help with Your Hit and Run Case
Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with an attorney as soon as you can if you’ve been hurt or lost a loved one in a hit & run accident. You can contact us online for a free review of your case, or you can call 701-609-1510.