Louisiana Hit & Run Accident Attorney
Filing a Car Accident Claim After a Hit & Run
If you were injured in a hit-and-run accident, you can still recover for your accident-related damages, such as medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. However, it is important that you contact an experienced attorney who can help you understand your recovery options and protect your rights.
For over 35 years, our Louisiana hit-and-run accident attorneys at Jones & Hill have been representing clients who were injured in car accidents in which the at-fault drivers fled the scene without providing reasonable aid or identifying themselves. We understand the challenges you are up against, as well as the complexities inherent in these types of claims, and are prepared to exhaust all potential avenues of compensation in an effort to maximize your recovery.
Contact us now at (318) 707-0515 to speak to a member of our legal team about your case for free.
When Is It Considered a Hit & Run?
In Louisiana, it is a crime to leave the scene of an accident without stopping to identify yourself and render reasonable aid to others involved in the crash. Fleeing the scene without providing one’s information is known as a hit-and-run, and it comes with serious criminal penalties, including possible imprisonment and fines.
By law, “identifying” oneself includes providing the following information:
- Vehicle license number
Reporting the accident to the police can constitute “identification” after an accident.
It is also against the law to leave an accident involving a stationary object, such as a parked car, without attempting to locate the damaged property’s owner and/or reasonably identify oneself. Typically, leaving a note with one’s contact information is sufficient.
Committing a hit-and-run is not only against the law, but it is also morally wrong, as it leaves victims without often-critical assistance in obtaining medical attention, as well as with limited options when it comes to recovering financial compensation.
Louisiana Hit & Run Statistics
For whatever reason, whether because they were driving without insurance or under the influence of alcohol, thousands of people flee the scene of accidents in Louisiana every year.
According to data from the Center for Analytics & Research in Transportation Safety (CARTS) at Louisiana State University, there were:
- 16,527 hit-and-runs resulting in property damage only in 2020
- 4,141 hit-and-runs resulting in bodily injury in 2020
- 44 hit-and-runs resulting in fatalities in 2020
While the number of hit-and-run accidents has been steadily decreasing over the past five years, these numbers are still extremely high and reveal an alarming trend: far too many people believe they can simply leave the scene of an accident they caused, even when another person is injured or killed.
How Can You Recover Compensation After a Hit & Run?
For victims of hit-and-run accidents, the future can seem bleak. Not only are you likely dealing with significant or even catastrophic injuries and property damage, but you may also be facing mounting medical bills and weeks, months, or even years out of work thanks to your injuries. And, because Louisiana follows a fault-based car accident system, recovering compensation for your losses can feel hopeless.
The good news is that you do have options.
After a hit-and-run accident, you can generally do the following:
- File a Claim with Your Own Insurance Provider: Depending on your insurance policy, you may be covered for some or all of your damages. If you have uninsured motorist (UM) coverage, you can file a claim with your insurance provider and recover for specific losses. Although UM coverage is not mandatory in Louisiana, all auto insurance providers must offer it; the only way you do not have UM insurance is if you specifically declined it in writing.
- File a Police Report: If you were involved in an accident with someone who fled the scene, you should file an official police report. In fact, if the crash resulted in injury, death, or property damage of $500 or more, you are required by law to report it. In any case, when you report the hit-and-run accident, the police may be able to locate the at-fault driver. If they do, you can file a claim against the hit-and-run driver’s insurance company and/or sue the at-fault driver for damages.
At Jones & Hill, we can help you review your auto insurance policy and work with local law enforcement in an effort to secure the justice and fair compensation you are owed. Our Louisiana hit-and-run accident attorneys have extensive experience handling UM claims and hit-and-run cases and can help ensure your rights are protected at every stage of the process.
What to Do After a Hit & Run Accident
After a hit-and-run accident, there are several things you should do to protect yourself, your rights, and your future recovery.
Get Medical Help
First and foremost, get medical attention if you were injured in the crash. Even if you believe your injuries were minor or will heal on their own, you should always see a doctor after an accident. The shock of the collision could mask the true severity of your injuries, and some injuries may take hours or even days to appear. Do not wait to see a medical professional and be sure to follow all of their instructions, advice, and treatment plans.
Call the Police
If possible, you should also contact the police right away and have them come out to the scene of the accident. It is important that you provide as many details to the police as possible, as this can help them in their investigation and may be crucial in locating the hit-and-run motorist. If possible, try to remember the make, model, year, and color of the vehicle, as well as any other defining details.
Write down everything you can remember about the accident, including where it happened and at what time of day. Talk to any witnesses who may have seen what happened and, if you can, write down a brief description of the hit-and-run driver. The more information you have, the better.
These details can not only help law enforcement, but they can also serve as crucial evidence in your hit-and-run accident claim. We recommend that you also take pictures of the accident scene, as well as your injuries and property damage.
Contact an Attorney
We also recommend that you contact an attorney who can help you explore your options when it comes to recovering compensation. Jones & Hill provides free consultations and contingency fees, meaning you do not owe any upfront or out-of-pocket expenses when you hire our team. Instead, we only collect attorney fees if/when we recover compensation for you.
Contact Jones & Hill Now for a Free Case Evaluation
With multiple offices, we proudly serve clients throughout Louisiana, including in Lake Charles, Alexandria, Oakdale, Oberlin, and all of the surrounding areas. Our attorneys are well-versed in complex motor vehicle accident laws and have helped numerous victims of hit-and-run accidents recover fair compensation for their medical expenses, lost income, and emotional distress.