Car accidents are fast and terrifying. In a single moment, your life can change forever. You or your loved ones might be seriously injured. When the smoke clears, it is even more upsetting to discover the other driver left the scene of the accident.
These cases are made even more complicated because the driver may not be identifiable. Worse, they could be under- or uninsured, which may be the reason they drove away in the first place.
People hurt in hit-and-run accidents can file a compensation claim under Arkansas personal injury laws. You may need to seek the guidance and counsel of experienced Fort Smith car accident lawyers to help you through the process.
How to Respond After a Hit-and-Run Accident
This article assumes that you are have already been in an automobile accident and are searching for information based on how to respond after that. If you are in an emergency, call 9-1-1 instead.
The reasonableness by which you respond after a hit-and-run accident could be factored in your insurance claim or civil court lawsuit. Therefore, it is vital to cover your bases and act rationally even though this situation is highly emotional.
Take the following steps after a hit-and-run accident to preserve your health and legal interests:
- Seek medical attention if you have not already
- File a police report if you have not already
- Compile your insurance and drivers’ license information
- Gather medical records and invoices about your injuries
- Never admit fault to insurance companies when you file a claim
- Keep a record of eyewitness contact information
- Contact Fort Smith car accident lawyers for legal advice
If you find that dealing with the aftermath of a hit-and-run accident is too much to handle alongside your recovery, Fort Smith car accident lawyers can help you initiate the claims process. It is possible that you were too injured to gather the recommended documents; your attorney will help you with this aspect as well.
He or she can also assist law enforcement with their investigation regarding the driver who left the scene of the accident. Finding this person is vital for filing an injury claim if you do not have personal injury protection (PIP) insurance.
Insurance Companies Do Not Represent Your Interests
Insurance companies are only required to meet current insurance laws as well as the terms listed in the contractual language. However, there are elements of an Arkansas personal injury hit-and-run accident claim that are open to interpretation on both the part of the adjuster and your lawyer.
As you are interacting with your insurance company, it is crucial that you do not make self-incriminating statements. Even seemingly innocuous comments or affable admissions of fault to be polite can later be used against you to reduce the liability to pay for your benefits on behalf of the insurance company.
They are likely not imagining the stress and pain that customers endure after hit-and-run accidents. Adjusters simply evaluate claims and mitigate financial exposure to the insurance company, even when someone else drives away after hitting you.
Make sure that you review your policy and its terms and conditions before filing a claim. The language is confusing and technical, so it will take some time to read through it. If the amount you are offered is unfair or denied altogether, the next step is to reach out to Fort Smith personal injury lawyers to go after the money you deserve on your behalf.
You Have a Duty to Mitigate Further Injury
Seeking immediate medical attention after a hit-and-run accident is crucial for a few reasons. First, it reduces the likelihood of future physical injury and damage. Second, the insurance company cannot claim that your injuries were made worse by your lack of due diligence.
Do not allow insurance companies to deny your claim because you did not go to the hospital within the timeframe specified in your insurance policy. When you win your Arkansas personal injury claim, then these expenses are recoverable.
Contact Fort Smith Personal Injury Lawyers for Legal Advice
Fort Smith personal injury lawyers represent people who were injured in hit-and-run accidents. If you or your family member experienced injury or loss of life, you have the right to pursue compensation through a negotiated insurance settlement or a civil court jury or judge award for your medical expenses, pain and suffering, and wrongful death damages.
The legal team at Milligan Law Offices is available to help you understand your rights and options with a free, no-obligation consultation. Call us at (479) 783-2213 or submit a message through our private contact form