Injured in a Hit-and-Run Accident in South Carolina? Here’s What You Need to Know
When you’re involved in an accident, it’s usually a traumatic experience. However, it can be even more shocking when the other driver flees the scene. You now have to face the financial burden of paying for another person’s mistake.
According to AAA, an estimated 737,100 hit-and-run accidents took place in 2015. The next year, hit and run accidents killed 2,049 people, a record number of fatalities for this category of collision. More than half of people killed in hit and runs were non-vehicle occupants, including pedestrians and bicyclists.
Though hit-and-run accidents may leave you victimized, you can receive compensation for your injuries. Unfortunately, hit-and-runs in South Carolina are a common occurrence, so insurance companies negotiate many of these claims.
If you have experienced a hit-and-run accident, you may need the help of a personal injury lawyer. An experienced attorney can negotiate with your insurance company for hit-and-run accident compensation. To find out if you can receive this compensation, call attorney John Peace at the Peace Law Firm for a free consultation. John advocates for victims of hit-and-runs in Greenville, SC.
To learn more about hit-and-runs in South Carolina, keep reading.
What Is a Hit and Run?
According to AAA, “Hit-and-run collisions are those in which at least one person involved in a crash flees the scene before offering any (or sufficient) information or aid to the other involved person(s) or fails to properly report the crash.” Hit-and-runs in South Carolina may involve only property damage. However, these accidents often injure or kill vehicle occupants or pedestrians.
Property Damage Accidents
South Carolina law requires drivers to fulfill specific duties in the event of an accident. If the accident caused property damage but no injuries, the driver must:
- Stop their vehicle at the scene of the accident, and
- Remain at the scene of the accident until information is exchanged with the other driver.
In South Carolina, leaving the scene of an accident is allowed for the purpose of reporting the crash to law enforcement authorities. The driver may also leave the scene of the accident to move a vehicle that is obstructing traffic. However, the driver must return to the scene of the accident, or a designated location, to wait for law enforcement.
Injury or Fatality Accidents
If an accident results in injuries or death, the driver has additional responsibilities. In an injury or fatality accident, the driver must:
- Exchange information with the other driver; and
- Render aid to injured vehicle occupants, such as calling an ambulance.
Obtaining medical assistance for injured people should always be a driver’s priority. If a driver violates any of these requirements, the driver can be liable for a hit-and-run accident, which carries criminal penalties.
What Do You Do After a Hit-and-Run Accident?
Though a hit-and-run driver faces criminal charges, this potential punishment doesn’t pay your medical bills and car repairs. To get compensation for a hit-and-run accident, you should file a claim with either the hit-and-run driver’s insurance or your insurance.
Take these steps after you experience a hit-and-run accident:
- Get to a safe place, and call the police;
- Seek medical treatment if needed;
- If you are not seriously injured, take photos of the scene of the accident;
- File a police report; and
- Get names and contact information for witnesses to the accident.
You will also want to file a claim with your insurance company. If you feel uncertain about dealing with your insurance company, you may want to contact a personal injury attorney to help with your claim. A personal injury attorney can take over negotiations and work to get you full compensation for your accident injuries and property damage.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage for Hit-and-Run Accidents
When you have uninsured motorist coverage, your insurance should cover your hit-and-run damages. Uninsured motorist coverage protects you if a driver with no insurance or minimal insurance injures you. South Carolina law requires all drivers to have uninsured motorist coverage at these minimum coverage amounts:
- $25,000 per person for bodily injury; and
- $50,000 for all persons injured in one accident.
Coverage for an uninsured motorist hit-and-run also pays for your accident injuries and property damage when you don’t know who hit you.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney for Hit-And-Run Compensation
If you aren’t sure how to get hit-and-run compensation, a personal injury attorney can help. An attorney can investigate your accident and determine all possible sources of compensation. These sources of payment might include:
- The driver of the hit-and-run vehicle,
- The owner of the hit-and-run vehicle, and
- Your uninsured motorist insurance.
Attorney John Peace has been helping injured victims get compensation from insurance companies for nearly 20 years. John has work experience in the insurance industry, so he knows how to counter tactics they use to deny claims. Call the Peace Law Firm for a free consultation. John will listen to your accident experience, investigate the details, and advise you of your legal options. Call John to get a legal advocate on your side and pursue maximum injury compensation.