If you have been injured in a hit and run accident in Mobile, AL, it’s important to work with an experienced hit & run accidents lawyer to protect your rights and seek to hold the responsible party accountable.
Contact Lattof & Lattof, P.C. today to schedule a free consultation. We have decades of experience helping hit and run victims seek justice and fair compensation.
How Lattof & Lattof, P.C. Can Help with Your Hit & Run Accident Claim
As the victim of a hit and run car accident, you are in a very difficult place when it comes to seeking the fair compensation you deserve. Proving a personal injury claim can be complicated enough, but a hit and run crash usually means the at-fault driver must first be located. This is a daunting task when you are left injured and unable to work.
A personal injury lawyer in Mobile can help by taking the lead in searching for the driver responsible for your injuries. The hit and run accident lawyers at Lattof & Lattof, P.C. will interview witnesses, work with police, and follow leads to search for the driver who fled your accident. We can still help you file a claim against your own insurance company if the driver cannot be located.
If the at-fault party is found, Lattof & Lattof, P.C. will help you file a claim, negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance company, or take your case to court if necessary.
Lattof & Lattof, P.C. is a small, family-owned law firm that gets big results. We have represented hit and run accident victims in Mobile for more than 65 years in fighting for full compensation. We put our combined century of experience to work for you to protect your rights and build your case.
You should be focused on your recovery, not hunting down a reckless and irresponsible driver and fighting with an insurance company. Contact Lattof & Lattof, P.C. to schedule your free consultation with an experienced Mobile personal injury attorney today.
What Is a Hit & Run?
Alabama law makes a hit and run a serious crime. A hit and run refers to a collision in which someone flees the scene before they provide sufficient information, help other people involved in the crash, or properly report the accident. A hit and run isn’t just a crime; it also creates a large burden on victims seeking compensation.
If caught, someone who leaves the scene of a motor vehicle accident that resulted in an injury can be convicted of a felony in Alabama under Alabama Code Section 32-10-1.
In Alabama, someone has committed a hit and run if they do not stop when they are involved in an accident and give information and render aid. When the car wreck results in injury, the driver must provide their name, address, vehicle’s license plate number, and driver’s license information to the driver and occupants of the other vehicle.
They are also required to give help to ensure injured parties receive medical treatment if necessary or requested. This usually means waiting for police or first responders.
It’s important to note that a criminal case for a hit and run is separate from a civil lawsuit. The criminal case will only focus on a legal punishment for the crime. A civil claim is the only avenue for recovering compensation from the at-fault party.
Even if the driver is located but not charged or convicted, you can still recover damages in a civil claim because there is a lower burden of proof. A conviction in criminal court will make it easier to prove your civil case against a negligent driver, however.
Alabama Hit & Run Accident Statistics
Hit and run accidents are on the rise across the United States. Somewhere in the U.S., there is a hit and run every 43 seconds. In 2016, there were more than 730,000 hit and run accidents that caused 2,049 fatalities and even more serious injuries.
In 2016, there were 16 fatal hit and run accidents in Alabama, down from 39 the previous year. Victims most likely to be killed in a hit and run crash are pedestrians who accounted for more than half of hit and run fatalities in 2016.
Why Do Hit & Run Accidents Happen?
Rarely, hit and runs happen when someone isn’t aware they were in a collision. This can happen in a pedestrian accident, for example, when the driver clips someone in a parking lot crosswalk. In many cases, people flee the scene of an accident because they panic, are in shock, or afraid of consequences. Common reasons drivers hit and run in Alabama include:
- No car insurance
- Shock or panic
- Under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Driving without a license or with a suspended license
- Prior criminal conviction
- Trying to avoid responsibility
- Distracted driving
There is never an acceptable reason to intentionally flee the scene of an auto accident, especially when someone has suffered injuries. Sadly, many hit and run perpetrators are never located, leaving victims with limited options for seeking compensation. At Lattof & Lattof, P.C., we will work tirelessly to locate the driver who caused your accident to hold them accountable.
How Do I Recover Damages in a Hit & Run in Alabama?
Like many states, Alabama has a fault-based car insurance system. Injured victims in an accident generally file a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance policy, not their own. This does not mean you are left without options when you do not know who caused your accident.
Depending on your own car insurance policy, you may be able to file a claim with your own insurance company. If you only carry minimum coverage, you cannot recover the compensation you need from your policy. You will need something called Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) and Med Pay coverage.
At Lattof & Lattof, P.C., we always recommend drivers maintain these two optional forms of coverage for protection if they are involved in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver or a hit and run. UM/UIM coverage steps in to pay for your damages if you do not know the driver or they do not have enough coverage. Med Pay covers medical bills no matter who caused the accident.
Your hit and run car accident attorney in Mobile will also try to identify the driver who fled the scene of your accident. Our legal team will work with law enforcement and look for evidence to find the identity of the driver. Sometimes surveillance footage from area businesses and witness interviews can help identify the driver.
If the at-fault driver is located, we will help you file a claim with their insurance company to pursue the damages you are entitled to. You may also be able to recover damages by suing the at-fault driver directly.
Damages Available in a Hit & Run Crash in Alabama
When you are left injured after an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you have the right to seek compensation for the damages you have suffered. Once the at-fault driver is located, you can file a claim against their insurance company for the economic and non-economic damages you have suffered.
If the driver is not located, you can still pursue compensation from your own insurance carrier if you have UM/UIM and Med Pay coverage.
You may be entitled to many types of damages such as:
- Medical bills, including anticipated future medical expenses
- Property damage to your vehicle
- Lost wages for time you had to take off work
- Reduced earning capacity if you are left disabled
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Wrongful death
If your case goes before a jury, you may also be awarded punitive damages. These damages are designed to punish someone for egregious negligence or particularly malicious or reckless behavior. A hit and run that causes injuries may qualify.
Contact a Mobile Hit & Run Accidents Lawyer
Hit and run accidents are frightening and may leave you completely overwhelmed. You may feel helpless as you struggle to recover from your injuries and afford to support yourself while unable to work. The thought of locating a driver who fled and fighting with an insurance company for a fair settlement offer may seem insurmountable.
At Lattof & Lattof, P.C., we are here to help. You should be focused on your recovery, not gathering evidence to prove the extent of your injuries. Our hit and run car accident lawyers in Mobile, Alabama will help you investigate your accident, search for the at-fault driver, and negotiate with the insurance company to reach the fair settlement you deserve. Call our caring legal team today to schedule your free consultation.