If you were injured in an auto accident with a motorist who fled the scene, you are likely suffering from severe injuries and unsure of your legal options. Furthermore, any surgeries or rehabilitation will leave you with an inability to work, despite a pile of medical bills.
While no-fault insurance benefits can alleviate your financial strain from lost wages, medical bills, and other associated costs, you may be entitled additional compensation to cover the full extent of your losses. However, pursuing additional recovery alone might prove difficult.
You need a Michigan hit and run accident lawyer to help you. Our skilled attorney will investigate the circumstances of your crash and work to get you a great settlement.
Most Common Types of Hit and Run Accidents
Hit and run car accidents are very frequent. Drivers often flee the scene of a personal injury accident because they are intoxicated, driving a stolen vehicle, or have no auto insurance. Other drivers may have outstanding warrants or are afraid of the potential legal consequences after the crash. Some drivers may not even realize that a pedestrian or cyclist was struck by their vehicle.
The most common types of hit and run accidents involve:
- Drunk drivers or those under the influence of drugs who flee the scene to avoid an arrest;
- Distracted drivers looking at their phones or talking to passengers in the vehicle;
- Drivers of stolen vehicles or fleeing the police after the commission of a crime;
- Reckless drivers who simply do not care about harm they cause to innocent people;
- Bikers hit by vehicles while riding their motorcycles on highways;
- Bicyclists who get struck by a vehicle or the side mirror of the vehicle;
- Pedestrians hit by a car on the shoulder of a road or highway;
Do I get No-Fault Insurance Benefits After a Hit-and-Run Crash?
Michigan’s no-fault insurance allows the victim of a crash is able to recover some form of compensation. Essentially, almost every person injured in a hit and run accident is entitled to no fault insurance benefits. You can get these payments even if you did not own a car or have an auto insurance policy. This applies to drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and even bicyclists.
No-fault benefits include payment of medical bills, lost wages, attendant care services, and other benefits. Our lawyers will fill out all of the paperwork required to receive these benefits. We will follow up with the insurance company adjuster to make sure that your benefits get paid on time.
Filing a Civil Lawsuit Against a Fleeing Driver
Michigan law requires that a driver involved in an accident stops and remains at the scene. Unfortunately, many people panic after being in a collision and flee from the scene before sharing identifying information at the site of the accident.
As a result, criminal charges might apply for this offense, as well as the potential for a civil lawsuit filed by an innocent person s hurt in the accident. However, for a successful civil claim, an injured claimant must prove the fleeing driver was also at fault for the crash.
If a fleeing motorist is caught and convicted for a criminal charge, this will bolster a civil claim on the basis of negligence. However, even if a driver is not convicted of a criminal offense, they might still be civilly liable to compensate an injured claimant for their losses. Our Michigan attorneys work with victims of hit-and-run car crashes to gather evidence and file their claims.
What Happens if the Fleeing Driver is Never Identified?
In most hit and run accidents, the fleeing driver is later identified or eventually reports the accident to the police. When the driver is identified, a lawsuit can be filed against the fleeing driver and owner of the vehicle being operated at the time of the crash. The insurance company for that vehicle will pay the settlement.
On some occasions, the fleeing driver is never identified. In those cases, you can still file a claim for No-Fault insurance benefits. If you owned a vehicle, or lived with a family who owned a vehicle, and had uninsured motorist benefits in the policy then you can make a claim against that insurer.
Most uninsured motorist provisions require you to report the accident to the police within twenty-four hours after the crash. Some policies require a written police report be filed within that time frame. If you do not report the incident to the police, you may forfeit your ability to file an uninsured motorists’ claim.
How much are Settlements for Hit and Run Accidents?
Settlements for hit and run accidents depend on a number of factors. These include the type of injuries you suffered, the the type and length of your medical treatment, and the permanency of the conditions. Other factors include any types of disability from work or recreational activities you can no longer due because of your injuries.
For an uninsured motorist claim, you can receive the same type of pain and suffering damages as you would if the other driver had been identified. These include compensation for your physical pain, mental anguish, disability, loss of future income, and other damages. Our attorneys will work hard to maximize your settlement.
The Statute of Limitations in Michigan
Any injured driver seeking compensation against a negligent and fleeing driver should be aware of the statute of limitations in Michigan. According to Michigan Compiled Laws §600.5805, an injured motorist has three years from the date of their injury in which to take legal action.
The time deadlines for filing no-fault insurance claims and uninsured motorist claims are much shorter than the general three-year limitations period. Also, many insurance policies require that a written police report be made within twenty-four hours after the accident to be eligible for an uninsured motorist claim for a hit and run accident.
Consult with an Attorney After a Michigan Hit-and-Run Car Crash
When a negligent driver causes a crash and then flees the scene, you should not be left to pay for medical bills and missed work without compensation. By working with a lawyer handling with expert knowledge of Michigan hit-and-run car accident claims, you can receive no-fault benefits and other compensation for you injuries.
Our law firm does not charge any legal fees unless you receive a settlement. We pay all of the case expenses so it literally costs you nothing to get started. We only get paid at the end of the case when you receive your settlement check.
To learn more, call the Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C. to schedule your free, no obligation consultation today.
- 29000 Inkster Road
Southfield, MI 48034
- Phone: (248) 595-7544
- 19 Clifford St.
Suite 805 Merchants Row
Detroit, MI 48226
- Phone: (313) 992-8281
- 1001 Woodward Ave.
Detroit, MI 48226
- Phone: (313) 777-8482
- 343 S. Main Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
- Phone: (734) 888-3003
- 51424 Van Dyke Ave
Shelby Township, MI 48316
- Phone: (586) 250-2626