Securing compensation for your injuries and damages after a car accident can be stressful and complicated. Certain factors, such as a driver who flees an accident scene, can make the financial recovery process even more challenging.
The number of Louisiana car accidents has increased over the past several years, and so has the number of hit-and-run collisions. Unfortunately, those injured in these accidents often do not know where to turn for financial compensation for their losses.
If you have been injured in a hit-and-run accident, you might have questions about your personal injury claim rights and responsibilities. Keep reading to learn more about Louisiana’s hit-and-run laws.
What Is A Hit-And-Run Accident?
Under Louisiana law, a hit-and-run accident occurs when a driver, who is involved in or causes an accident, fails to stop at the scene, give his identity, and render reasonable aid. Hit-and-run driving is a crime that can result in a $500 fine and up to six months in jail.
If the accident results in serious bodily injury or death, the penalties can be more severe, including up to 20 years in prison and fines of up to $5,000. Unfortunately, criminal convictions and punishments do not help hit-and-run victims get compensation for their accident-related losses. However, they may recover compensation in a personal injury claim.
Who Is Responsible For My Injuries And Damages?
Whether you were an occupant of a vehicle involved in the accident, a bicyclist, or a pedestrian, if someone caused your injuries, you should be compensated. Several people may be responsible for your losses in a hit-and-run accident.
Sometimes drivers who flee the scene in hit-and-run accidents are later caught by law enforcement officers. In addition to criminal prosecution, when hit-and-drivers are identified, they can also be held accountable in personal injury claims for accidents that they caused.
If the identity of the driver who caused your accident is never discovered, your own insurance company might be responsible for your losses. Your insurance policy may provide coverage for personal injury claims under an uninsured or underinsured policy.
Under some circumstances, a third party involved in the accident could also be liable or partially liable for your losses. Under Louisiana’s comparative fault law, if there is more than one person responsible for an accident, the percentage of fault is apportioned, and each party is responsible for paying their share of the accident damages.
Hit-And-Run Accident Compensation
The amount of compensation you are entitled to collect after a hit-and-run accident depends on the extent of your injuries and damages. It is critical to determine your total losses, including past, ongoing, and future damages, to ensure that you are fully compensated.
Personal injury compensation is frequently awarded for the following losses:
- Medical bills, including anticipated future medical expenses for accident-related injuries.
- Lost wages for missed work due to your injuries.
- Loss of earning capacity if your injuries are permanent and impact your ability to return to work in the same capacity as before the accident.
- Pain and suffering related to your accident injuries.
- Loss of enjoyment of life due to the extent of injuries sustained.
- Punitive damages may be awarded in some cases where the at-fault driver was intoxicated at the time of the accident.
Hit-And-Run Laws And Insurance Coverage
After a hit-and-run accident, you will probably be dealing with one or more insurance companies that are responsible for paying your injury claim. As mentioned above, if the identity of the driver who caused the accident is unknown, you might be covered by your own insurance company under an uninsured or underinsured motorist claim.
Unfortunately, even when your own insurance company is responsible for your losses, adjusters often make it difficult for you to secure a full and fair financial recovery. However, a personal injury attorney can make the economic recovery process more straightforward and successful.
When you are represented by an attorney, you will never have to speak with insurance company representatives. Your attorney will handle all communication and settlement negotiations with the insurance adjuster.
Meet With A Louisiana Hit-And-Run Laws Attorney
If you have been involved in an accident, contact The Law Offices of Chip Forstall at 504-483-3400 or submit a contact form to meet with a Louisiana hit-and-run laws attorney. Our attorneys offer free consultations for hit-and-run accidents and other types of personal injury claims.
We know that recovering compensation for your personal injury losses can be difficult, and we can help. Our attorneys take cases on a contingency fee basis so that you will never pay out-of-pocket for legal fees.