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Boston Personal Injury Attorney > Blog > Car Accident > How Do You Handle a Hit and Run Accident?

How Do You Handle a Hit and Run Accident?


We often hear about hit and run accidents but we don’t give much thought to them—until they happen to us. Hit and run accidents can be especially disturbing, because in addition to the normal trauma and emotional fear that comes with any car accident, in a hit and run, you feel abandoned, with nobody there to blame for the accident.

Types of Hit and Run Accidents

A hit and run often happens one of three ways.

In some cases, someone hits your car, and then drives off; you have no opportunity to speak to them, observe them, and nobody ever even stops to see if you are OK.

But sometimes, the other, negligent driver, does stop, at least temporarily, but then he or she drives away before the police arrive on scene. The negligent driver may even talk to you, or pretend that he or she is waiting for the police with you, before simply driving away.

This is why if you can, and you are able to, it is good to try to get as much information from the negligent driver as possible, as quickly as possible. Even a few details may help police identify the driver later on.

The third way is where a driver does give you, or the police, some information—but gives knowingly false information.

Criminal Offenses

People who commit hit and run accidents where there is property damage or any injury to a person, can face criminal penalties. There is a penalty of up to 2 years in jail. And the driver can have his or her license suspended for up to 2 years. Sadly though, even these criminal penalties aren’t enough to deter some people from committing hit and run accidents.

Insurance and Compensation After a Hit and Run Accident

Of course, one glaring problem when you are injured by a hit and run driver and are looking for compensation, is who do you sue; presumably, the hit and run driver is gone and unidentifiable, otherwise he or she wouldn’t be a hit and run driver.

At first, your personal injury protection will help you pay if you are hit by a hit and run driver, because that kind of insurance is “no fault.” But that insurance is limited in what it covers. If you have serious damages, you would normally sue the negligent driver. But how, in a hit and run?

The good news is that in Massachusetts, you are required to carry uninsured motorist (UM) insurance. UM insurance will “stand in the shoes” of the hit and run driver—basically, your insurance will “pretend” that it is the other driver, and pay you what the other driver would have had to pay. It also will defend the case, and assert defenses, the same way the negligent driver would do, if the negligent driver was around to be sued.

Call the Boston personal injury lawyers at The Law Office of Joseph Linnehan, Jr. today at 617-275-4200 for help today if you have been injured because of a hit and run driver.




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