All motorists are required to stop at the scene of an accident until information is exchanged between the parties. If the police are notified and on their way, the parties must wait at the scene until the police arrive. When the person who causes a collision leaves the scene of the crash before information is exchanged and the police arrive, this is considered a “hit and run” situation. If you or a loved one was hurt in a hit and run accident, you might be feeling frustrated because this type of ignorance by the at-fault party adds to the burden they created for you that includes pain and suffering, medical bills, lost wages, and other costs associated with the wreck. Fortunately, the Allentown hit and run accident lawyers at Ostroff Godshall Injury and Accident Lawyers can help you fight for the payment you need.
Jon Ostroff and our respected car accident lawyers have won hundreds of auto collision cases on behalf of our clients that were injured by a hit and run driver. For example, our legal team represented a client who was a passenger in a car that got sideswiped by a truck. The tractor-trailer operator fled the scene. However, we were able to identify the driver through witness statements.
After negotiations with the at-fault party, we won a $100,000 settlement on our client’s behalf. Reach out to us today to learn more about how we can support you throughout your case.
Ostroff Godshall Injury and Accident Lawyers has also recovered millions of dollars for clients injured in hit and run crashes where the at-fault fleeing driver was never found. There are still sources of insurance and compensation to pursue in this instance. We will be happy to explain these potential sources of recovery in our free consultation.
Common Reasons Why Driver’s Flee the Scene
At-fault drivers often flee the scene when they are engaging in illegal activity. For example, they might be DUI, uninsured or driving without a license. A motorist might also leave the scene if they are:
- Drunk driving
- Driving while high on drugs
- Driving a stolen vehicle
- Driving at extremely high speeds
- Underage driving
- A fugitive running from the law
- Transporting illegal goods or drugs
No matter the reason, leaving the scene of an accident is against the law. If you suffered injuries in a hit and run, our Lehigh Valley lawyers can help you assess any available evidence to determine why the driver may have fled and to prove their responsibility for causing you to suffer physical and financial harm and losses.
Steps to Take After a Hit and Run Accident
Immediately after a hit and run, it is crucial to record the other car’s license plate number if possible. You should also take note of any other features about the vehicle, such as the color, make, and model. Next, it is important to call 911 if you’re unsure whether the police have been called.
If you are injured, you should obtain medical treatment as quickly as possible. It is often beneficial to go directly to the emergency room from the scene of the accident to be assessed and treated. After receiving initial care, it is best to consult a lawyer. Our attorneys in Allentown can handle all the legal aspects of your hit and run car accident case while you take care of your health. We help injured clients throughout the Lehigh Valley.
Recoverable Damages in a Hit and Run Case in Allentown
There are many types of economic and non-economic damages you can seek compensation for after a severe hit and run car accident. Our legal team can help you pursue payment for:
- Pain and suffering
- Medical bills
- Cost of long-term medical care
- Cost of prescription drugs
- Lost wages
- Lost financial and business opportunities
- Property damage
The more serious your injuries are, the more valuable your case will be. Additionally, the types of treatment you require after an auto accident will impact the amount of compensation you can recover. For example, an injury requiring five chiropractic treatments will not be worth as much as an injury requiring orthopedic surgery.
The court awards punitive damages to punish the defendant for their actions. A hit and run case in Lehigh Valley can result in punitive damages. Our law firm will typically seek punitive damages in cases involving crashes caused by hit and run, drunk, or tired drivers.
Can You Recover Compensation if the At-Fault Driver is Never Found?
Many people assume that they cannot obtain compensation if the negligent driver is never caught. However, if the other driver is never identified, our skilled lawyers can analyze pursuing damages from:
- Uninsured Motorist (“UM”) insurance coverage;
- Pennsylvania Assigned Risk Plan;
- Other potential at-fault parties, such as PennDOT for a defective highway design or condition that may have contributed to the crash
Will Criminal Charges Against the Fleeing Driver Impact the Civil Case?
Many at-fault drivers who are caught after fleeing the scene of an accident will face criminal charges. However, these charges will not affect a civil case between you and the negligent motorist, other than to provide additional evidence through this channel.
Criminal cases involve a municipality or state government and an individual. A guilty verdict could result in fines or prison time for the defendant. Conversely, civil cases involve two parties who rely on the court to determine fault and assess damages between them. The “plaintiff” is the party in a civil case that is seeking damages and the “defendant” is the party being sued.
Contact an Allentown Hit and Run Accident Attorney Today
A driver who flees the scene of an accident has no regard for your safety and wellbeing. These reckless motorists deserve to be held financially responsible for their actions. If you were injured in this type of crash, do not hesitate to schedule a free consultation and speak with one of our Allentown hit and run lawyers today.